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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Eric Lucero (R)

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Rep. Eric Lucero (30B) - Legislative Update

Friday, March 18, 2016

Dear Neighbor,

I know I’m not the only one eagerly anticipating spring and the warmer weather!  In the mean time, it was very busy this week at the Capitol. Below are several highlights.

At center, I am joined by Minnesotans Against Common Core (MACC) board members, from left, Anne Taylor, Kerstin Schulz, and Linda Bell, and concerned parent Vesta Kelly, to testify at a House committee hearing Thursday in St. Paul in support of legislation designed to protect student private data and ensure parental authority.

Student Data Privacy Committee Hearing
Parents from all around our community and state have been contacting me for over a year now expressing their high concern regarding the use of tests and surveys administered in schools collecting their children’s personally identifiable information of which the student private data is subsequently shared with third parties for purposes of data mining. It’s for this reason I chief authored legislation both this year and last year designed to protect student private data and ensure parental authority.

Concerned parents have been contacting me because they trust me to fight to protect our children stating my professional experience and background combining cyber security specialist, educator, and law enforcement make me uniquely qualified to fight this cause. I have a passion for the use of technology in education but I also have a passion for the use of cyber security to protect our children against Big Business using our schools as instruments to collect Big Data on our children. I also strongly believe in empowering parents and my legislation does just that by returning parental control over their children's private information.

The chapter in state statute governing education and technology dates back to 1980 with relatively few updates since. 1980 is when Ronald Reagan was elected President and I was not even 3 years old yet. Clearly the law has not kept up with technology advances. It’s time the law is brought into line with modern technology.

Thursday this week six student data privacy bills were heard in the House Education Innovation Policy Committee upon which I sit. I am the chief author of four of the bills that were heard and co-author of the other two. Chair of the committee, Rep. Sondra Erickson, is the chief author of the two bills I co-authored. The full list of bills we heard yesterday includes:

  • H.F. 2671 (Lucero) - Student data access addressed, disclosure requirements affecting personally identifiable information about a student clarified, information in electronic student education records managed, student survey requirements established, and civil penalties provided.
  • H.F. 2898 (Lucero) - Student privacy in data on electronic devices provided by an educational institution protected, and penalties provided.
  • H.F. 2899 (Lucero) - Student privacy with respect to electronic data in student information systems protected, and penalties provided.
  • H.F. 2900 (Lucero) - Student privacy in personal electronic devices on campus protected, and civil penalties provided.
  • H.F. 2762 (Erickson) - Education commissioner directed to develop plan to ensure privacy and security of students' personally identifiable information.
  • H.F. 2813 (Erickson) - Statutes governing parental rights in education cross-reference directory created.

I'm so thankful for the high turn-out of concerned parents from across Minnesota who came to the Capitol yesterday to testify in favor of the bills! Also a big thank you to Minnesotans Against Common Core (MACC) for the many hours of effort to help bring us this far as we continue the fight! Yesterday was a huge success in raising awareness and building support. I received many positive comments after the committee hearing from both Republicans and Democrats. Click here to watch a brief approximate 12-minute video of my opening remarks to the committee as I laid the foundation for the bills to be heard.