Rep. Tony Cornish speaks to the omnibus public safety bill, which he sponsors, on the House floor April 3. Photo by Andrew VonBank

Mankato Times

ST PAUL, MINN. – A bill that will fund judiciary and public safety priorities over the next two years was approved on a bipartisan vote Monday in the Minnesota House by a margin of 94-37.

HF896/SF803*, as amended by the House Ways and Means Committee to include House language and further amended on the House Floor, contains nearly $2.28 billion in spending during the 2018-19 biennium, a $111.5 million increase over current base.

“With this legislation, not only will we better protect Minnesotans, but we are also giving needed support to those who put their lives on the line every day to ensure our safety,” said State Representative Tony Cornish (R-Vernon Center), chairman of the Minnesota House Public Safety and Security Policy and Finance Committee.

Cornish said the plan funds public safety at nearly $2.3 billion over the next budget cycle, which includes the budgets of the Department of Corrections, six of the 11 divisions of the Department of Public Safety, Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, District Courts, Tax Court, Board of Judicial Standards, Guardian Ad Litem Board, Public Defense Board, Sentencing Guidelines Commission, Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, and Uniform Law Commission.

Cornish said the bill allocates new money to local law enforcement agencies to help them pay for officers’ training costs, to help officers in dealing with suicidal and mentally disturbed people, and creates crisis intervention team training and training in implicit bias. The plan also improves our judicial system, and allows the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to replace an outdated predatory offender registry.

The legislation increases penalties against those who choose to participate in illegal protests that put people’s lives at risk, and provides new revenue to address domestic violence prevention and terrorism recruitment.

The proposal also targets sex offenders by issuing stronger penalties and longer supervision for convicted sexual predators, dedicates funds for additional sex trafficking prevention grants, and increases penalties against those who possess and disseminate child pornography.

One thing that may interest people is the protestor bill.

“We have narrowed that somewhat to 4 lane highways, rail and airports and we think we have it in position that the Governor will look at it closely because he has shown some support for it before.” said Cornish.





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