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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Lisa Demuth (R)

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Legislative update

Friday, May 3, 2024

Dear Neighbor,

Greetings from the House, where we creep ever closer to our May 20 constitutional date for adjournment and marathon floor sessions have been taking place all week to act on bills. We’ll see how things play out on short time.

Here’s a look some of this week’s notes from the House:

House approves “swatting” bill

Legislation I authored to stiffen penalties for making fake emergency calls, known as swatting, passed the House as a stand-alone bill without opposition late last night on a 127-0 vote.

This dangerous crime currently is chargeable as a gross misdemeanor, and my bill (H.F. 3757) allows prosecutors to charge it as a felony.

We know that swatting is something that can lead to deadly results. Intentionally luring first responders to the home of an elected official, judge, prosecuting attorney, employee of a correctional facility, a peace officer, etc., endangers the safety of more than just the first responders. It puts anyone in that home at risk, while also putting bystanders in harm's way. This crime also divert a significant number of first responders away from what could be a true emergency incident.

I am grateful for the broad, bipartisan support my bill received and will continue working to get it across the finish line this year.

Palace for politicians

As of this week, Minnesota taxpayers officially are saddled with the first payment on the Democrats’ extravagant $730 million State Office Building remodel. I participated in a press conference Tuesday to reinforce the position we should not be making life harder and more expensive for Minnesotans so legislators can have fancy offices and a bigger building.

House Republicans offered numerous taxpayer-friendly alternatives prior to construction beginning on this project. This includes numerous amendments House Republicans offered on the House floor providing better uses of these taxpayer dollars, such as using that money to equalize the education funding inequities in our state and/or combating the childcare crisis by dedicating even a fraction of that funding to Family Childcare Start Up Grants.

Unfortunately, each of these amendments were defeated on the House floor and now Minnesotans are forced to pay.

Republican women’s group


It was my pleasure to meet with a Minnesota Federation of Republican Women's group during their recent Day at the Capitol event in St. Paul. Thanks for the kind invitation!

Anti-2A bills

House Democrats approved three anti-gun bills this week which will do more to make criminals out of law-abiding citizens than crack down on violent criminals.

The three bills include new rules on firearm storage (H.F. 4300), requirements for reporting stolen firearms (H.F. 601), along with a new “trigger activator” definition that may impact some commonly used guns and render them illegal (H.F. 2609). These latest proposals follow last year’s changes Democrats enacted regarding universal background checks and red flag confiscation orders.

A better approach would be for our state to step up efforts to enforce existing laws, with prosecutors who are willing to fully charge violent criminals and courts that stop turning dangerous people back out on the street with a slap on the wrist.

H.F. 2609 does include House Republican language that steps up penalties for straw purchasers, which is great and an example of the approach we should be taking. But other controversial language disappointingly undermined strong bipartisan support that could have been achieved with a clean straw-purchase bill.

After passing the House along party lines, the three bills are now in the hands of the Senate, where Democrats have a one-seat majority. That means a senator who faces first-degree felony burglary charges could cast deciding votes on bills undermining people’s ability to defend themselves during a home invasion.

Look for more from the Capitol as we work through the remaining days of this session. As always, your input is welcome.