2018 Minnesota Legislative Session

Forfeiture Reform:  A forfeiture reform did not advance through the session. Ultimately, due to large opposition from a law enforcement coalition, including MCPA, an amendment was not offered for debate or a vote. 
ALPR/Body Camera Audit clarification:  A bill that would provide clarity to the ALPR/Body Camera audits was not put in either the House or Senate omnibus bill and died through the committee deadline process. The House would have rectified the fiscal costs at the Department of Administration to manage the audit reports. 
DWI Task Force Language: Sen. Greg Clausen (D-Rosemount) sponsored legislation in SF 2578 that criminalizes driving while under the influence of an “intoxicating substance.” This definition includes the chemical found in air dusters, Difluoroethane 1,1 (DFE). While intended to be used to clean electronics, the chemical gives a user a high when intentionally “huffed.” Minnesota has experienced an increase in intoxicating substance impaired drivers. 
Criminal Sexual Assault Kits: Rep. Marion O’Neill (R-Maple Lake) was the chief author of a bill that establishes procedures for handling sexual assault examination kits that was signed into law by Governor Dayton. The bill only outlines the procedures for unrestricted kits. Next session Rep. O’Neill and others from the advocate community plan to have meetings and try to pass legislation outlining the procedures for handling restricted kits. 
Omnibus Budget Bill: In the last week in an effort to get Governor Dayton to sign the omnibus budget bill the House and Senate agreed to send a much smaller bill than they originally intended. The negotiations over this bill with the Governor were almost non-existent. Ultimately, the Governor vetoed the bill which included language to:

Prohibit cities from not issuing a firearm to officers
Updates to the use of stays of adjudication
Enhanced penalties for child pornography
Clarifying language regarding the use of tracking warrants
Enhanced penalties for texting while driving
What was removed from the bill before sending to Governor Dayton:
Enhanced penalties for assaulting a peace officer or first responder
Enhanced penalties for multiple instances of retail theft
Criminal gang investigative data system changes

Gun issues: While the debate over reform measures intensified at the legislature, no action was taken. Republicans authorized money for various school safety measures and allowed local school districts to do more in this regard, no significant action was taken by Republicans on Criminal Background Checks or Extreme Risk Orders.
Officer Integrity Act: Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) introduced the Officer Integrity Act HF 4497 and we had several positive conversations with legislators. We expect committee action on this bill next year.

Law enforcement training centers:  Funding signed into law for both the HERO Center in Cottage Grove and Dakota County Regional Public Safety Center.

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.