Minnesota Senate









KEY: stricken = old language to be removed
         underscored = new language to be added
Authors and Status

S.R. No. 192, as introduced: 91st Legislative Session (2019-2020) Posted on February 17, 2020

1.1A Senate resolution
1.2relating to Temporary Rules of the Senate; providing privacy requirements for certain
1.3hearings conducted by the Subcommittee on Ethical Conduct; amending Temporary
1.4Senate Rule 55.
1.5BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the State of Minnesota:
1.6Temporary Rule 55 is amended to read:
1.855.1The Committee on Rules and Administration shall appoint a Subcommittee on Ethical
1.9Conduct of the Committee on Rules and Administration consisting of four members, two from the
1.10majority group and two from the minority group.
1.1155.2The subcommittee shall serve in an advisory capacity to a member or employee upon
1.12written request and shall issue recommendations to the member or employee. A member may
1.13request the subcommittee to provide its advice on a potential conflict of interest to the member in
1.14private. If so requested, the subcommittee shall conduct its proceedings on the advisory opinion in
1.15private. The request, proceedings on the request, and any advice given by the subcommittee in
1.16response to the request must remain private. The member may not use an advisory opinion from
1.17the subcommittee as a defense to a complaint under this rule unless the opinion has been adopted
1.18by the subcommittee at a public meeting.
1.1955.3The subcommittee shall investigate a complaint made in writing by a member of the
1.20Senate under oath. The complaint must be received before adjournment sine die in the last year of
1.21a senate term or during a special session held after that time regarding improper conduct by a
1.22member or employee of the Senate. The subcommittee has the powers of a standing committee to
1.23issue subpoenas under Minnesota Statutes, section 3.153.
2.155.4Within 30 calendar days after receiving a complaint, the subcommittee must meet and
2.2either make a finding of no probable cause, vote to defer action until a certain time, or proceed with
2.3its investigation.
2.455.5In order to determine whether there is probable cause to believe that improper conduct
2.5has occurred, the subcommittee may, by a vote of three of its members, conduct a preliminary
2.6inquiry in executive session to which the open meeting requirements of Rules 12.1 to 12.3 do not
2.7apply. The executive session may be ordered by a vote of three of its members whenever the
2.8subcommittee determines that matters relating to probable cause are likely to be discussed. The
2.9executive session must be limited to matters relating to probable cause. Upon a finding of probable
2.10cause, further proceedings on the complaint are open to the public.
2.1155.6 For complaints alleging any conduct prohibited by the nondiscrimination and
2.12anti-harassment policy applicable to the Senate, the subcommittee must conduct its proceedings in
2.13private to determine whether there is probable cause to believe that improper conduct occurred.
2.14The open meeting requirements of Rule 12.1 or 12.3 do not apply to a meeting held under this rule.
2.15The parties to the complaint may waive the requirements of this rule by mutual written agreement
2.16provided to the chair of the Subcommittee on Ethical Conduct before any hearing is commenced.
2.17The recording required under Senate Rule 50 of any meeting held under this rule must be kept
2.18private by the Secretary, and no further description or distribution of the recording, including, but
2.19not limited to, any description or distribution required under Senate Rules 50.2 to 50.9, shall be
2.20permitted without a vote of three of the members of the subcommittee.
2.2155.6 55.7The subcommittee may appoint special counsel to provide expert advice on how
2.22to conduct its proceedings. The subcommittee may appoint a suitable person to conduct the
2.23investigation and report findings of fact and recommendations for action to the subcommittee.
2.2455.7 55.8If, after investigation, the subcommittee finds the complaint substantiated by the
2.25evidence, it shall recommend to the Committee on Rules and Administration appropriate disciplinary
2.2755.8 55.9The subcommittee shall hear an appeal by a member of the Senate from a Senate
2.28investigation of a complaint made pursuant to the Senate's nondiscrimination and anti-harassment
2.29policy, within the time limit for appeal provided in that policy. All hearings of appeals under this
2.30rule must be conducted privately under the terms and conditions provided under Rule 55.6. The
2.31parties may agree to waive the privacy requirements of Rule 55.6 as provided in that rule. The
2.32subcommittee may consider information gathered in the course of the Senate investigation that is
2.33under appeal, but is not bound by any determinations or recommendations from the investigation.
2.34The subcommittee may take action to gather additional information.
2.3555.10To minimize disruption of its public proceedings, the subcommittee may require that
2.36television coverage be pooled or be provided by Senate media services.
3.155.9 55.11If criminal proceedings relating to the same conduct have begun, the subcommittee
3.2may defer its proceedings until the criminal proceedings have been completed.
3.355.10 55.12The Senate intends that proceedings of the Subcommittee on Ethical Conduct
3.4not be admissible in any criminal proceeding.

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