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Dayton Signs Key Data Practices Bill Into Law

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Gov. Mark Dayton has signed a bill making private companies’ contracts on government projects public under Minnesota’s open records law.

Dayton signed the “Timberjay bill” Wednesday. The legislation stemmed from Ely-based Timberjay Newspapers’ legal fight to see the contract between Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls and its subcontractor for an $80 million school project in northern Minnesota.

The bill passed both the House and Senate unanimously. The law requires all government contracts include notice that the Minnesota Data Practices Act applies to private businesses.

The bill excludes health plan companies, managed care organizations and county-based purchasing plans until June 30, 2015.

Dayton vetoed part of the bill that would fund a legislative auditor’s study on how secure state systems are at securing and transmitting data, including citizens’ personal information.

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