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House passes public safety policy bill with bipartisan support

Rep. Kelly Moller is congratulated by Rep. Laurie Pryor following the passage of HF3614, the public safety policy bill. The April 8 vote was 130-0. (Photo by Michele Jokinen)
Rep. Kelly Moller is congratulated by Rep. Laurie Pryor following the passage of HF3614, the public safety policy bill. The April 8 vote was 130-0. (Photo by Michele Jokinen)

Changes affecting crime victims and their rights, making criminal justice reforms, modifying predatory offender restrictions, and modifying some duties of the Department of Corrections received overwhelming House support.

Rep. Kelly Moller (DFL-Shoreview), the sponsor of HF3614, said the bill would make many wide-ranging changes to law that will make Minnesotans safer.

“This bill has multiple provisions that are beneficial to victim survivors and provisions that make the criminal justice system more just,” said Moller, chair of the House Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee.

As amended, the bill was passed 130-0 Monday and sent to the Senate.

[MORE: Bills included in the public safety policy bill]

Crime victim support

Moller highlighted several provisions in the bill that would aid crime victims.

The Department of Corrections would be required to make a good faith effort to notify a victim of an end-of-confinement review process for a predatory offender and require notice of the victim’s right to submit written input.

Law enforcement agents and victims would be allowed to submit written material relevant to an offender’s risk level to the chair of an end-of-confinement review committee.

Minnesota House floor debate on HF3614, the public safety policy bill 4/8/24

The bill would also prohibit a domestic abuse advocate from disclosing information in court about a victim that the advocate acquired in a professional capacity unless the victim consents to the disclosure.

Criminal justice reforms

Two provisions would make reforms to the criminal justice system.

Serving a petition for an order for protection, or any other issued order, could be served electronically or by mail if a respondent appears remotely for a hearing and the respondent is informed that the court will issue an order for protection against the respondent.

The bill would establish that the two-year limit on when a person can bring a petition for postconviction relief does not apply if newly discovered evidence provides the factual predicate for one or more claims for relief. It would also remove a requirement that newly discovered evidence must meet a clear and convincing standard to prove in court that a petitioner is innocent of an offense.

Bipartisan support

Republicans touted several of their party’s initiatives that were included in the bill, such as predatory offender reforms proposed by Rep. Marion Rarick (R-Maple Lake).

House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth (R-Cold Spring) thanked Moller for her bipartisan work on crafting the bill. “This is the way that we should be legislating. … I also was pleased to see that there wasn’t any additional irresponsible spending in this bill, that it was truly policy that we could get behind it and support it.”

Other notable general public safety provisions include:

  • establishing that railroad peace officers have the powers and duties of other peace officers on railroad property;
  • amending Minnesota’s “Good Samaritan” law related to assisting someone experiencing a drug-related overdose to include immunity for individuals acting in concert with the person who makes the emergency call;
  • requiring a company providing guards or other personnel to transport a person arrested on a warrant to have a protective agent license and to revoke the license of any employee who commits an act of criminal sexual conduct; and
  • prohibiting the Peace Officer Standards and Training Board from granting continuing education credit to a course that includes training on the detection or use of the term, “excited delirium.”


Rep. Jim Nash (R-Waconia) successfully offered an amendment that would make it a misdemeanor to interfere with a person who must legally report child abuse from filing a report to authorities.

He recounted that his father physically abused him when he was a child, and that on more than one occasion mandatory reporters failed to act on his behalf.

“We have an obligation, both statutory and moral obligation, to do right by the kids here in the state of Minnesota,” he said.

Rep. Anne Neu Brindley (R-North Branch) unsuccessfully offered an amendment relating to a provision in the bill that would prohibit the sale of calcified human remains (bones) for commercial purposes, and making violations a felony offense.

Her amendment would have prohibited the commercial sale of all human remains, not just bones.

Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn (DFL-Roseville), who sponsored that language in the bill, agrees with the intent of the amendment but said that if adopted, it could have the unintended consequence of jeopardizing organ donations.


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