Wednesday, May 15, 2013

MN - Senate passes sex offender legislation with bipartisan support

Original Article

If it were one of their own family members who was stuck in the system, we're sure something would be done about it. They are playing with people's lives here!


By Paul Demko

House Republicans have opposed companion bill

The Senate passed legislation on Tuesday making significant changes to the state’s troubled civil commitment program for sex offenders with bipartisan support. Minority Leader David Hann and eight other Republicans were among the 44 senators voting in favor of the proposal.

A pair of Senate DFLers — Matt Schmit of Red Wing and Susan Kent of Woodbury – voted against the legislation. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Kathy Sheran, DFL-Mankato.

The legislation faces an uncertain fate in the House. The House companion bill, sponsored by Rep. Tina Liebling, R-Rochester, passed out of the Judiciary Finance and Policy Committee on Friday evening, but without any Republican support. DFL leaders have indicated that they won’t move forward unless there is a commitment from Republicans to provide some votes for the politically volatile issue.

In a number of conversations, we have asked for and continue to look for bipartisan support for this issue,” said House Majority Leader Erin Murphy on Tuesday. “In committee the other night, that was clearly not evident.”

House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt has been noncommittal about rounding up GOP votes. “I’m not sure if it’s necessary that we take action this session,” Daudt said on Monday. “We’re still kind of looking at that.”

Murphy sees a greater sense of urgency to address the MSOP. “It is an issue that needs attention,” she said. “[Daudt]‘s not taking the opportunity to solve the problem in front of us.”

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