- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 31, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday signed a bill that sets ground rules for police use of body cameras.

The bill makes most footage private. Only the people who appear in videos can have access to the files - unless it involves an altercation that results in great bodily harm, in which the footage would then be made public.

Dayton signed the bill only after lawmakers removed a provision that would have allowed officers to review footage before writing an incident report. It was among several bills he signed Tuesday.

In a letter accompanying notice of his signature, the Democratic governor gave only a brief explanation for his support, saying: “I have signed this bill to honor my promise to legislative sponsors that I would do so, if an objectionable provision were removed.”

Open-government advocates criticized the final bill for making so much of body camera footage private.

Dayton on Tuesday vetoed a 51-page bill that would have made changes to public pension plans in the Minnesota State Retirement System and Teachers Retirement Association. In his veto letter, the governor noted that the bill reduced cost-of-living adjustments for retirees by 0.25 percent in the general plan and 1 percent for teachers, the Star Tribune reported.

Dayton said that he believes the pensions bill should demand similar adjustments of employers and current employees - not just retirees. “It is not fair, and I cannot agree to it,” he wrote.

An effort to crack down on opioid abuse was among the 19 bills that Dayton signed into law Tuesday. Under the new requirement, prescribers and pharmacists must register and maintain user accounts of opioid prescription history.

Dayton has not acted yet on the two biggest remaining pieces of legislation: about $300 million in new spending, and an additional $260 million in targeted tax relief. The governor also is expected to speak this week about a possible special legislative session, which many lawmakers want in order to finish a construction bonding bill that collapsed in the final minutes of the regular session.


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