A Ramsey County District Judge ruled Thursday that a proposal to attract Amazon to the Twin Cities is not subject to the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act and therefore isn't public information.
The decision comes in a ruling to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Public Record Media, a nonprofit organization that advocates for government transparency, against Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and Greater MSP, an economic development nonprofit organization. Public Record Media argued that a proposal to attract Amazon to the Twin Cities should be public because of the state's role in crafting it.
• Sept. 2017: Minnesota wants in on Amazon HQ sweepstakes • Nov. 2018: Judge weighs disclosure of Minnesota's pitch to Amazon
The lawsuit came after Amazon announced requests for proposals for a second headquarters. The Twin Cities was one of the metropolitan areas interested in snatching up the technology and retail giant with its promise to add 50,000 new jobs.
While it worked with the Department of Employment and Economic Development, Greater MSP was responsible for and submitted the bid. According to court records, the department worked with the governor and legislative leaders to provide information on existing economic development programs.
"DEED did not have any drafts of Greater MSP's proposal and therefore could not present any draft proposals to legislative leaders," according to the court order. "Rather, DEED received cursory outlines from Greater MSP with key points and discussed them during high-level briefings with legislative leaders."
Ramsey County District Judge Leonardo Castro wrote that there was no official contract between the two entities and that the proposal was not "collected, created, received, maintained or disseminated" by the state agency and was not subject to Minnesota's data practices law.
Public Record Media attorneys said they are reviewing the decision and are considering an appeal.
In November, Amazon picked Long Island City, N.Y., and Crystal City, Va., for its new headquarters.