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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn (DFL)

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Minnesota House Passes Judiciary and Civil Law Supplemental Budget Bill

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, the Minnesota House passed HF 5216, the joint Public Safety and Judiciary and Civil Law Supplemental Budget Bill. The Judiciary and Civil Law portion of the bill continues the House Democrats' work from last year to build a system that will more equitably serve the people of Minnesota.

The bill focuses primarily on supporting the Judicial Branch with the greatest contribution going to the forensic examiner program. Forensic examiners perform the crucial roles of psychological examinations for civil commitment, criminal competency, and criminal responsibility evaluations. With an initial $26.3 million investment and $1 million in ongoing funding, this bill guarantees the future quality and capacity of the forensic examiner program. It also invests in the branch’s cybersecurity needs and increases the hourly rate for court interpreters. These funds will help ensure that the Judicial Branch can fulfill these vital services and uphold the Constitutional rights of Minnesotans.

“After a historic package of investments last year, I’m pleased our committee was able to follow up with impactful additional funding this year,” said Jamie Becker-Finn (DFL - Roseville), Chair of the Judiciary and Civil Law Committee. “Our legislation improves the justice system in our state, making it a better place to live for all Minnesotans.”

This bill builds on last year's success when lawmakers made historic investments in public defense and civil legal services, the creation of an Office of Appellate Counsel, the protection of students’ personal information, and the elimination of court document fees. Many of these investments are already having the intended positive effect, such as more attorneys choosing to enter public service.

Video of the floor session is available on House Public Information Services YouTube channel.