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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Contact The Five Senators Who Will decide if MN Gets Tougher on Child Rapists. Last Year They Said No.

Update: All the sex offender bills were killed in the Senate. Awaiting comment from the 5 members for upcoming article.

With about a week left in the 2018 legislative session it looks like the important sex offender bills that did not pass last year, will likely again fail to pass. Several (below) have died already. The fate of the remaining bills rests in the hands of 5 State Senators on whether or not they will agree to include the bills that passed in the House version of the public safety omnibus bill. As with all bills, both the house and senate versions have to pass matching before going to the Governor to potentially sign. Each committee chooses members from their group to go to conference and negotiate the differences.

Last year Senator Limmer, chair of the senate public safety committee, refused to pass the public safety omnibus bill with all the sex offender bills saying they were "too sweeping," but did not work on the bills when they sat ready for the senate to review for months. From what we're heard it doesn't look like the Senate is going to cooperate yet again for this same reason. Clearly, there are other interests likely at play and not the excuse the bills are "too sweeping". In a recent article we covered why this accusation is anything but true and explain the real local consequences of what is happening because these bills did not become law:

The reason for this article is a plea to voters to call and email these five Senators ASAP and tell them to include all the bi-partisan sex offender reform bills that passed in the house. We know it sounds cliche' and it often falls on deaf ears. Many people assume that other people will take the time to contact the legislators; or that there can't be much of a difference if one person calls. The fact is, the legislators who are trying to get these bills passed tell us the resounding problem on why the bills don't get further is the opposition is so strong. The special interest groups like the County Attorney's Association (prosecutors) call the weak sex offender laws "tools for prosecution." The defense lawyers for sex offenders lobby that sex offender laws are too severe. On and on there are groups who are fighting against tougher laws and in the absence of facts and opposition the law makers don't agree and the laws don't pass. The truth is Minnesota has the weakest sex offender laws in the Country:  Watchdog Review of Each of the Fifty States Sex Offender Laws Finds Minnesota Ranked the Most Unsafe

Meanwhile, in the real world, nearly an article a month comes out from our page about a child rapist walking with little to no prison time and probation. This is just from Washington County, let alone what's happening in the other 86 Counties in the State. At the end of the post we list some of these articles. For the complete list follow: 

Another reason this is so important you contact these five Senators is prosecutors are giving weak charges; offering insane plea deals to avoid trial; and sentencing guidelines are so weak for sex crime that this rapist (for example) served more time (23 months) for burglary than he did for holding, beating, and raping a woman (15 months):

Call and email the legislators and tell them in your own words why these bills need to pass ASAP, there are only days left in session. If you need help thinking of more reasons just browse the titles of the articles below. You can copy and paste the list of emails into your "to" for the recipients of the email:;;;; 

Remember, this isn't a republican vs democrat issue because republicans and democrats in the Senate don't want to pass this. Representative Matt Grossell is a republican and he's the only one who's writing sex offender bills the last couple sessions. 

It's so hard to pass good sex offender bills because of the opposition. Here are the bills that died in the House this session when Senator Warren Limmer refused to discuss them calling the "non-starters":
HF2944 Sex offenders required to serve 50-year conditional release or probation terms, and intensive probation for sex offenders established.
HF2943 Reunification of parents and children after the parent sexually abuses a child restricted.
HF2905 Criminal sexual conduct prosecution team established in the Office of the Attorney General.

A really great sex offender bill died last session when it reached the senate:
The bill was HF1572SF1895 sponsored by Representative Matt Grossell and had over 30 other legislator co-signers combined. It eliminated the loop hole called Stays of adjudication and stays of imposition in criminal sexual conduct cases, sex offenders required to serve lifetime conditional release or probation, intensive probation for sex offenders established, child pornography penalties increased, mandatory minimum sentences created, and Sentencing Guidelines Commission directed to modify the sex offender grid.

When you call and email you are still fighting to pass what did survive. If we don't convince them there's no telling if the bills will get a second chance next session. Matt Grossell is up for re-election, if he is not re-elected there is little indication that anyone will step up and write sex offender bills and fight for them to pass as hard as he does. 

The bills that need the approval of the five state senators:
HF2906  Closes the loop hole that allows convicted sex offenders to obtain a clean record after probation
HF2934  For those who have gone through the loop hole, their records must show their offenses on background checks and they must not be allowed to be bus drivers
HF2904 Child pornography offenses penalties increased, mandatory minimum sentences created, and Sentencing Guidelines commission directed to modify the sex offender grid.

We will have a follow up article on how each of the five legislators handled these bills... who was pushing to include the bills, if senator Limmer again made every excuse possible to push back or further scale back the reform of the bills even more than they've already been.

Here's the info to contact each of the five legislators:
Warren Limmer (34, R)
3221 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
Scott J. Newman (18, R)
3105 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
Mary Kiffmeyer (30, R)
3103 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
Julie A. Rosen (23, R)
3235 Minnesota Senate Bldg.

Michelle R. Benson (31, R) 
3109 Minnesota Senate Bldg. 

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