Hello from St. Paul,
In an effort to address the growing number of catalytic converter thefts across the state, I am authoring legislation that would hold these criminals accountable.
Catalytic converters contain valuable metals, which is why they are popular with thieves. They are also very expensive for the car owner to replace.
My bill would make possession of an unauthorized catalytic converter a crime. It would create a misdemeanor offense for possessing a used catalytic converter that is not attached to a motor vehicle unless it was marked with a date of removal and the vehicle’s ID number, or has not been certified for reuse as a replacement part by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The crime would become a gross misdemeanor if the person possessed more than one catalytic converter. Anyone convicted of the crime would also be forced to pay restitution to any identifiable victim.
It wasn’t long ago that a Hastings business had dozens of catalytic converters stolen from their vehicles, costing the owners thousands of dollars. This is not just a problem you’ll find in the inner cities. It is happening in nearly every city, in every corner of this state, and we have to hold those accountable who are sawing these catalytic converters off of our neighbors’ cars and trucks.
The bill awaits a hearing in the Minnesota House Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee.
GIVING A BREAK TO DISABLED VETERANS
I’m also carrying legislation this session that would provide some financial assistance to Minnesota’s Veterans who are 100% disabled. Under the plan, if the Veteran has a total service-connected disability rating that is classified as 100%, that Veteran would be exempt from paying for his or her license tabs, registration fees, and other driving-related costs that are associated with driving a vehicle. To me, this is the least we can do for those who put their lives on the line for our nation and returned home with a permanent disability after their service ended.
I’ve also signed on to a bill that would create a special license plate for Legion of Merit recipients. The Legion of Merit is issued to members of the six uniformed services in the United States – and can also be awarded to military or political figures of foreign governments – for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements. Providing these plates would be an outstanding way for a grateful state to recognize their accomplishments.
Have a good weekend,