Here is an update with the latest news from the Capitol.
Civil Forfeiture Reform and Other Laws Take Effect August 1
Earlier this session, the Legislature passed a bipartisan law I championed to give citizens a fair chance to have a confiscated vehicle returned to them in court. This civil forfeiture reform law, which goes into effect on August 1, allows an innocent joint owner of a seized vehicle to petition the court to have the vehicle returned to them. If someone is convicted of a DWI and has their vehicle taken from them, under current law and a 2009 Minnesota Supreme Court ruling, the co-owner of that car like a spouse or family member does not have legal standing in court, and all parties have lost rights to that vehicle.
This change gives a co-owner the right to petition the court and demonstrate by the civil legal standard of clear and convincing evidence that they had no knowledge the vehicle would be used in this unlawful manner or reasonable steps were taken to prevent the use of the vehicle by the offender.
Additionally, a number of other policy-related laws passed this year also go into effect at the beginning of the month. Insurance companies will be able to limit life insurance payouts to beneficiaries of suspected terrorists, the Departments of Health and Human Services will work on a coordinated statewide plan to combat HIV/AIDS, and increased penalties for the impersonation of military or a peace officer are just a few of the other laws passed this year going into effect.
You can learn more about new laws going into effect August 1 by checking out a House Public Information press release here.
Capitol Grand Opening August 11-13
In mid-August there will be a weekend-long event at the Capitol to celebrate the completion of a four-year restoration and renovation of the People’s House. The Minnesota State Capitol look stunning, and I encourage families and residents from Wright County to come down and celebrate!
There are events for all ages including kid zones, fireworks, hotdish panels, live performances, a craft beer garden and much more. You can learn more about the schedule, ticketed events, transportation and Capitol renovations by visiting mn.gov/admin/capitol-grand-opening.
If you need assistance on an issue pertaining to state government, my office is available to you. You can e-mail at Rep.Marion.ONeill@House.MN or call my office at 651-296-5063. You can also write a letter to me. My office address at the Capitol is 549 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, St. Paul, MN 55155.