On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee passed the budget bill with bipartisan support funding the constitutionally required public safety responsibilities, prioritized funding programs for domestic abuse shelters, crime victim services, emergency communications and 911 services, and many other improvements to benefit many Minnesotans.
“I am committed to making strong, positive changes to the judiciary and public safety sectors of Minnesota,” Senator Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove) said, “That includes stronger services for victims of crimes and harsher penalties for those who harm Minnesotans through their crimes. Violent crime is skyrocketing and repeat bad actors are victimizing our state with their heinous actions. I am proud to have passed this budget bill and look forward to it elevating Minnesota to a stronger, safer place for our families and neighbors.”
A major advancement included in the bill will close the “intoxication loophole” brought to light by a Supreme Court ruling that overturned a sexual assault conviction because the victim was voluntarily inebriated. The Judiciary Committee and Senator Limmer have consistently supported and worked to create stronger laws to combat sexual assault and to bring awareness to victims of sexual assault.
“When the Supreme Court ruled on this controversial issue, I was appalled. This statute is extremely complicated and convoluted, but this is an absolutely necessary step to bring justice to victims of sexual assault. The law should never favor the criminal over the victim. I am proud of this change to statute that will provide survivors the legal protections they deserve,” Limmer said.
The bill includes is new funding specifically to combat violent crimes along with an increase in probation funding. These provisions provide resources in order to appropriately protect the communities our offenders are living in. The goal is to keep people safe and disincentivize violent individuals from reoffending.
Crime that harms children is particularly egregious. This bill reflects the gravity of these crimes with increased penalties on child pornography, sex trafficking and solicitation of children, and child torture. It is a top priority of the Committee to prevent our children from becoming victims to these traumatizing crimes.
Additionally, harsher penalties will be placed on individuals selling fentanyl. This is a harmful, deadly drug that has led to a growing addiction and criminal crisis in Minnesota. These drugs are between 10 to 100 times deadlier than heroin, making it imperative to limit the illegal sale and use of these drugs.
“Everyone deserves to live in safe communities and have the trust that if they are a victim of a crime, justice will be delivered through a fair and thorough system. Each year, my goal as Chair of the Judiciary Committee is to address the rise in crime and provide justice for victims in Minnesota. We as a Legislature must do our job and protect Minnesotans from violent offenders who prey on our children and families. These commonsense measures will strengthen our state and our people,” Limmer said.
The Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Omnibus Budget Bill passed the committee today and will be heard in Finance Committee before going to the Senate Floor for full debate and a vote.