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Editorial: Facebook foolishness

Businesses everywhere today face the difficulty of employees spending time on Facebook -- and other social media -- at work when they are supposed to be doing the job for which they were hired.

The same appears to be true now at the Minnesota Legislature. On Tuesday, legislators from both parties came together in support of a bill that they say will prevent employers from asking for passwords for social Internet sites potential employees use.

We don't, it should be stressed, support employers being able to inquire about access to information that's personal. Subjects such as marital status and children are taboo in interviews, and should remain such assuming they are protected by individuals with a website password.

Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, said Tuesday of her bill, "Our personal life is our personal life." Here, here. But with the clock ticking on this year's legislative session, and many lawmakers making noise about going home for the year next week, shouldn't they be worrying about other topics?

For instance, plenty of work remains to be done on reconciling three disparate bonding bills. (A House bill would spend $280 million to sell bonds, a Senate committee proposal approved Wednesday $496 million and a Gov. Mark Dayton plan $761 million.) Locally, Minnesota West Community Technical College's Worthington campus receives $4.6 million in all three proposals for renovations and an addition to its fieldhouse. There's also that pesky matter of what exactly to do with a new stadium for the Vikings, never mind a host of other issues important to the state's economy and overall quality of life.

Franson said her bill comes too late in the session to pass on a stand-alone basis. Fine. Let's worry get this year's business done, then.

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