Bill Would Seal Minnesota Bridge Victim Fund Records

The Minnesota Senate has given preliminary approval to a bill that would keep records about the Interstate 35W bridge victim compensation fund under wraps.

The bill would keep the records out of court proceedings and members of the compensation panel couldn’t be called to testify unless there were allegations of a crime.

Sen. Ron Latz says his bill was needed to tighten last year’s law to fit with the Legislature’s original intent.

He says the change protects victims who laid out their medical and emotional problems to the panel. He says many would have skipped the compensation process without the privacy guarantees.

But Sen. Warren Limmer says the records should be open to scrutiny by the public.

Offers to the victims are due by the end of the month.