The summary says: “A bill for an act relating to state government; appropriating money for a grant for open government, civic technology, and open data.”
“Open Minnesota legislation [HF2611 & SF2238] seeks state funding for an educational initiative to extend the power and potential of open data and civic technology across the state.”
Here is the bill text as it currently reads (both versions identical):
1.2 relating to state government; appropriating money for a grant for open
1.3 government, civic technology, and open data.
1.4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
1.5 Section 1. GRANT; OPEN GOVERNMENT, CIVIC TECHNOLOGY, AND
1.6 OPEN DATA.
1.7 $ ……. is appropriated from the general fund for the fiscal year beginning July
1.8 1, 2014, to the commissioner of administration for a grant to Minnesota E-Democracy
1.9 to implement and coordinate an Open Minnesota educational outreach initiative to
1.10 promote statewide adoption of open government strategies, the use of technology for civic
1.11 innovation, and the wide use of public data sets in the public and private sector. The
1.12 commissioner of administration may retain up to three percent of the grant amount for
1.13 costs associated with administering this grant, including obtaining advice from interested
1.14 government units on the grant terms and objectives.
As this legislation is a public concern — involving public rule of law, public money and public data — let’s be public about reporting on it! For transparency and accuracy, we’ve emailed both public officials and Steven Clift a copy of these preliminary questions. Whatever is returned by them will posted verbatim within 24 hours as an update to this article.
1) What is the definition of phrases “open government”, “civic technology” and “open data” in this bill?
2) What is the bill status currently and what is the next step in process?
3) When and how can the public attend or otherwise view any future hearings that pertain to this legislation?
4) How much public grant money is being requested and how is this figure determined?
5) Are there any concrete deliverables or requirements contingent upon public funding?
6) E-Democracy, a private nonprofit run by Executive Director by Steven Clift, is named as the financial benefactor of this legislation. How do other potential recipients of public funding include themselves within this legislation?
7) A public post made made by Steven Clift on March 6th reads: “The simple bill text (we had a longer version, but legislators felt the details are best left up to our partnering state agency).” Who is the partnering state agency and how is that determined?
8) To what degree should public engagement and input should be a part of the process involving legislation of public data and allocation of public funding?
9) How will the public interact and collaborate with said agency in determining the details of this proposed legislation?
10) Funding aside, what do you think the State can do within existing structures and budgets to relinquish more data owned by the public?