Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Pared-back state claims bill receives House support

Each year, a joint House-Senate Subcommittee on Claims decides which claims against the state it should fund.

This year's controversial bill calls for $109,865 in payments in fiscal year 2022.

Sponsored by Rep. Mary Murphy (DFL-Hermantown), HF2360 was passed 79-55 by the House Saturday and sent to the Senate where Sen. Bruce Anderson (R-Buffalo Township) is the sponsor.

The largest part of this year’s bill is $108,684.65 to Nicholas Peterson who sought relief under the Imprisonment and Exoneration Remedies Act which provides a compensation process for cases where a person was exonerated of a felony for which they were wrongfully incarcerated.

According to a bill summary: “Mr. Peterson plead guilty and was convicted of possession of a firearm by an ineligible person. The Minnesota Supreme Court held in another case that the BB gun Mr. Peterson possessed was not a firearm for purposes of the statute that he was convicted under. The claimant’s conviction was vacated. Mr. Peterson served 572 days in prison and 220 days on supervised release.”

The other $1,180.63 is for sentence-to-service and community work service claims under $7,000 and other claims already paid out by the Corrections Department.

Four other awards for injuries served while performing duties at a state correctional facility — totaling $138,491 — were endorsed by the claims subcommittee; however, Rep. Anne Neu Brindley (R-North Branch) raised concern during Monday’s floor session that one award would go to a man serving time for sexually assaulting an infant. That inmate sustained permanent back injuries as a result of stepping in a hole while mowing.

“Do you think it is appropriate that we are paying taxpayer money out to a monster like this?” Neu Brindley said.

During Wednesday’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing, Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) said never before has the issue of why someone is incarcerated played a role in determining if they should be eligible for compensation for being hurt while performing duties behind bars.

“What we have here is yet another example of what is the right decision to make and what sounds like the right decision to make,” he said. “... If we are going to now be doing background checks on those who have been wronged by the state or entitled to compensation then maybe this is a responsibility the Legislature should no longer have, that maybe we need to have to have a different claims process for these items.”

Of the other three cases, one inmate lost three fingers when cut by a beam saw, one lost part of a finger when it was crushed by a grommet machine, and the third sustained permanent brain injuries. Each request will be re-reviewed in the interim.

Related Articles

Priority Dailies

House passes tax package that includes rebate checks, $1 billion in new revenues
Rep. Aisha Gomez and House Majority Leader Jamie Long talk during a break in the May 20 debate on HF1938, the tax finance and policy bill. (Photo by Catherine Davis) Is it the largest tax cut in Minnesota history? Or the biggest tax hike the state has ever experienced? Could it be both? That’s the crux of the debate about the conference ...
House passes finalized cannabis legalization bill, sends it to Senate
A supporter of cannabis legalization demonstrates in front of the Capitol in 2021. The House repassed a bill to legalize recreational cannabis, as amended in conference committee, May 18 and sent HF100 to the Senate. (House Photography file photo) The House gave the green light to adult-use recreational cannabis Thursday. “The day has finally arrived. Today is the day that we are going to vote here in the House for th...

Minnesota House on Twitter