Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Capitol area security (new law)

Published (5/25/2012)
By Nick Busse
Share on: 

State Patrol officers can now be assigned to protect state lawmakers and other high-ranking state officials, if they’re believed to be in danger. 

Effective May 2, 2012, a new law authorizes state troopers to provide security on a short-term basis in response to “credible threats” against legislators, Supreme Court justices and constitutional officers.

The law does not specify criteria for what constitutes a credible threat. Instead, that decision will be left to the governor and the commissioner of public safety.

The law also establishes an Advisory Committee on Capitol Area Security, consisting of the lieutenant governor, two House members, two senators and the chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court (or their designee). The committee will meet at least four times a year to discuss security concerns and make recommendations to the Legislature. It will sunset on June 30, 2022.

Rep. Kelby Woodard (R-Belle Plaine), who sponsors the law with Sen. Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake), said the provisions are partially a response to the January 2011 mass shooting near Tucson, Ariz., that killed or wounded 19 people, including former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. After that incident, Gov. Mark Dayton convened a joint executive-legislative committee to make recommendations on improving security in the Capitol Complex. The group advocated for many of the provisions embodied in the new law.

HF1607*/ SF1283/CH258

Session Weekly More...

Session Weekly Home

Related Stories

Keeping the courts adequately funded
Public safety finance law doesn’t gut Human Rights Department
(view full story) Published 8/11/2011

Governor vetoes public safety bill
At about $1.8 billion in spending, no cuts to courts were proposed
(view full story) Published 7/15/2011

DNA - It’s all in the family
Familial DNA could help solve criminal cases, but at what cost?
(view full story) Published 4/8/2011

Creating a ‘Safe Harbor’
Wide-ranging support for bill to decriminalize juveniles exploited by prostitution
(view full story) Published 4/1/2011

Two omnibus bills merged into one
DFL legislators oppose cuts to Department of Human Rights, Civil Legal Services
(view full story) Published 4/1/2011

Safety versus savings
Home fire sprinklers would be costly, but can save lives
(view full story) Published 3/4/2011

Minnesota Index: State corrections
Figures and statistics on Minnesota's correctional system
(view full story) Published 2/25/2011

How young is too young?
Committee debates age for youth being charged as an adult in certain cases
(view full story) Published 2/18/2011