‘Timberjay law’ makes gov’t contracts public

Minnesota politicsGov. Mark Dayton signed into law a bill that would make public all government contracts, applying the Minnesota Data Practices Act to private businesses. They’re calling it the “Timberjay Law.” Here’s why:

Recently, the Timberjay newspaper in Cook, Tower and Ely had sued to make public an $80 million public school contract agreement between the St. Louis County schools and Johnson Controls. Publisher Marshall Helmberger was a bit of a David in this Goliath showdown, and the Supreme Court ruled that current law did not require the data to be public. The state legislature has now corrected that fact, and Gov. Dayton has enshrined it in law.

Congratulations, Marshall and the Timberjay team! The Timberjay Law is a big win for independent media, taxpayers and — if they think about it — local government. Better policy and less waste will result.


  1. John Ramos says

    Johnson Controls is not a big fan of transparency and public disclosure. I think when Helmberger gets his hands on the contracts, he will have many, many stories to pursue. I urge him to keep a close eye on cost overruns. Johnson Controls seems to have a tendency to have those.

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