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RELEASE: House approves Public Safety legislation

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

ST. PAUL, MN – On Tuesday, May 1, 2018, the House passed a bipartisan public safety omnibus bill on a 92-35 vote. The bill contains a number of policy provisions that have been heard in the House Public Safety Committee over the past two years.

“This bill accomplishes our committee’s ultimate goal of ensuring the safety and security of Minnesota families,” said Rep. Brian Johnson (R-Cambridge), Chair of the House Public Safety Committee. “In addition to making targeted investments in needed areas, our legislation implements critical reforms to protect law enforcement, keep our roads safe, and crack down on dangerous sex offenders. I am proud to author this bill and look forward to working with the Senate to produce a final product the governor can find agreeable.”

The legislation contains two provisions designed to safeguard law enforcement officers and the communities they serve. The bill would increase the current gross misdemeanor assault penalty for physically assaulting a police officer to a felony, and would prevent local governments from disarming an officer who is in good standing and not under investigation or subject to disciplinary action.

The plan would also increase penalties for protesters who illegally obstruct roadways and transit, and includes measures to strengthen Minnesota’s DWI laws regarding repeat offenses.

In addition, the proposal would target sex offenders by issuing stronger penalties and longer supervision for convicted sex offenders; increasing penalties for child pornography possession and dissemination; and closing loopholes in state law surrounding criminal sexual conduct.

The highlight of the bill’s funding package is nearly $3.7 million in additional funding to hire more guardians ad litem to comply with Federal mandates and to ensure child protection cases are assigned the guardians they require. The legislation would also establish and fund a two-year Task Force on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.