Minnesota Newspaper Association

Recent Articles

Timberjay bill signed into law

By Lisa Hills

Guest Commentator


An important piece of legislation was unanimously approved recently by both the House and Senate, and has recently been signed into law by Gov. Dayton. S. F. 1770 — commonly known as the “Timberjay bill” — may not have captured many headlines, but its significance goes to the heart of government accountability. The bill overturns an unfortunate ruling last fall from the Minnesota Supreme Court, and reaffirm that citizens have a right to information about private businesses that contract with government entities. The legislation is rooted in efforts by The Timberjay, a newspaper that serves Ely and Tower, to get information about a major school construction project. Publisher Marshall Helmberger, concerned about costs and other troubling aspects of a project, asked the school district for certain details about the construction contracts. Continue Reading →

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State Legislature argues for public notice postings online

Opponents say move blocks access to info for lower-income and elder citizens
By Isaac Peterson

Contributing Writer


A bill making the rounds in the State Legislature that has largely flown under the radar of most Minnesotans was the subject of a Senate Committee hearing last week. The Minnesota State and Local Government Committee Senate heard testimony regarding the proposed bill, SF 1152, last Wednesday at the Capitol. The bill, according to its chief author, Jon Pederson (R-St. Cloud), would allow local government entities to opt out of posting public notices in newspapers and instead to post such notices on their websites. Pederson contends that requiring government to post notices in qualified newspapers is a burdensome cost and constitutes what he called an “unfunded mandate.” Pederson also said that, under his proposed bill, if a government entity or agency chose to publish notices exclusively on its website, it would need to make print copies available at their offices. Continue Reading →

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