A positive judgment was handed down on a bill that covers several judicial and civil law topics.
Sponsored by Rep. John Lesch (DFL-St. Paul), HF631 as amended, would, in part, modify private/public data practices, require warrants to track individuals using location-tracking devices, prevent an employer from accessing an employee’s private social media data, and change some procedures used by family courts in divorce proceedings.
The omnibus data practices and civil law policy bill, HF631, was approved late Thursday by the House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Division and sent to the House Floor.
Most of the debate and the testimony focused on presumption of parenting time.
Sponsored by Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover), HF1666, heard in the division last week, proposes requiring family courts to have an “equal parenting time presumption” when deciding upon allocating parenting time for each parent in a divorce proceeding. Current law has a 25 percent minimum presumption of parenting time for one parent in a divorce proceeding.
Initially included in the delete-all amendment, an amendment successfully offered by Rep. Kelly Moller (DFL-Shoreview) removed the language and would leave the 25 percent minimum in place. It would also prohibit courts from considering a parent’s marital status in determining parenting time or custody.
Among her arguments, Moller said an equal 50-50 percent presumption could require domestic abuse victims to present to a judge “clear and convincing evidence” of the abuse in order to lower or deny parenting time to the other parent.
That would have a “chilling effect” on domestic abuse victims, said Moller, who noted that victims often do not have the resources to meet that high legal standard in court.
The other major debate focused on how state agencies handle unauthorized release of private data.
Current law requires state agencies to notify people or other parties affected when their private data maintained by the state has been accessed by an unauthorized person “with the intent to use the data for nongovernmental purposes.”
The bill would eliminate the “intent provision,” meaning that all unauthorized data breaches by the state would require notification.
Rep. Andrew Carlson (DFL-Bloomington) unsuccessfully offered an amendment to give state agencies leeway to review whether a data breach was sufficiently serious to warrant notification. That would occur only if “the unauthorized acquisition creates a significant risk of financial, reputational, or other harm to the subject of the data.”
The amendment provided a needed framework for state agencies to make notification decisions in a uniform, standardized way, Carlson said.
Rep. Eric Lucero (R-Dayton) said that was akin to “putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.”
Other notable provisions would:
What’s in the bill?
The following are selected bills that have been incorporated in part or in whole into the omnibus data practices and civil law policy bill: