2018 Minnesota Legislative Session

 

The 2018 legislative session is down to its final 10 days.  Key items from the Chief's Agenda, including the retention of information in the gang database, first-responder protections and enhanced penalties for repeat shoplifters, remain in place as lawmakers negotiate final bills.

Here is an update on other public safety items likely to receive attention:

Restrictions on handheld cell phone use: Bill is headed to the House floor but has not moved forward in the Senate. Sponsored by Rep. Mark Uglem (R-Champlin), HF1180 would require hands-free cellphone use when operating a motor vehicle, unless “the vehicle is legally pulled over to the side of the road, has come to a complete stop, and is not obstructing traffic.”

Increased penalties for freeway protestors:  House has passed bill, Senate awaits action

Drug schedule modification:  Keeping kratom away from minors is one goal of the annual drug scheduling bill put forth by the Board of PharmacySponsored by Rep. Keith Franke (R-St. Paul Park) and Sen. Paul Anderson (R-Plymouth), HF3479/ SF2578*, as amended to include House language, was passed 123-3 Thursday by the body.This bill, which would also add new drugs to the controlled substance schedules and contains a DUI-related provision, returns to the Senate where its version was passed 62-4 May 2.

 

Civil asset forfeiture:  No current action in either body

Law enforcement training centers:  Funding currently being considered by both bodies

MCPA 2018 Legislative Agenda

The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association (MCPA) 2018 Legislative Agenda was developed over a period of several months with input from the state’s police chiefs, law enforcement leaders and stakeholder groups. Members of the organization’s Legislative Committee, which is made up of public safety professionals at the municipal and state levels from agencies large and small, urban and rural, discussed, vetted and prioritized the agenda.

The MCPA Board of Directors approved the agenda on November 16, 2017.

Criminal Background Checks – The MCPA supports preventing individuals who are not legally able to purchase a gun from doing so without background checks at gun shows, online or in private transactions.

First Responder Protection Act – The MCPA supports protecting the safety and well-being of police officers, firefighters and medical personnel during demonstrations and rallies by increasing the penalties for attempted assaults on these individuals to a gross misdemeanor.

Criminal Gang Investigative Data System – The MCPA supports amending MN Statute 299C.091 to clarify when a legally identified gang member, who is incarcerated, is removed from the Gang Investigative Data system.

Law Enforcement Integrity Act - The MCPA supports allowing for a Minnesota Licensed Peace Officer to be terminated from public employment without opportunity to challenge the remedy of termination should the basis for termination be willful or intentional dishonesty, deception, or similar unethical or illegal conduct that is deemed sufficient to imperil their credibility in court testimony. The MCPA does not support limiting an officer’s due process right to arbitration.

Gun Violence Protective Orders (GVPOS) – The MCPA supports allowing law enforcement, qualified health care practitioners, family members and intimate partners who believe an individual’s dangerous behavior has a substantial likelihood to lead to violence to request an order from a civil court authorizing law enforcement to temporarily remove any guns in the individual's possession and to prohibit new gun purchases for the duration of the order.

Revisions to Permit to Purchase Firearms Statutes - The MCPA supports aligning the Permits to Purchase Firearms statutes (MN Stat. 624.7131; 624.7132) with the Permit to Carry (MN Stat. 624.714) statute in terms of the time required for conducting background checks (from 7 to 30 days).

Arbitration Revision Act – The MCPA supports revisions to the arbitration process that lead to a more effective and objective manner of dealing with disciplinary matters of sworn peace officers 

Enhanced penalties for repeat shoplifting offenders – The MCPA supports increasing the charge or severity for repeat shoplifters.