For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522
On a strong bipartisan vote of 92-35, the Minnesota House recently passed a comprehensive public safety proposal that better ensures the safety and security of Minnesota families and law enforcement.
The legislation contains two bills I’m authoring.
The first deals with adults who are in a position of authority that commit actions of criminal sexual conduct against a juvenile. The legislation broadens the definition of position of authority, and extends the definition so an adult who held that position within 120 days over a 16 or 17 year old would also be subject to criminal penalties for having a sexual relationship with that juvenile.
The second is a bill I’ve been very outspoken about in the past: increasing penalties for protesters who illegally obstruct roadways and transit.
It wasn’t all that long ago when a group of people was upset and decided to shut down Interstate 94. This is not only dangerous for the protester but also to oncoming drivers as well as law enforcement who will ultimately be forced to remove these lawbreakers.
Current law notes it is illegal to obstruct a highway, but the misdemeanor penalty clearly has done nothing to deter this behavior. Under this proposal illegal highway obstruction would become a gross misdemeanor, which increases the probability for a stay in jail, higher fine and longer probation.
As I’ve stated in the past: this bill does not seek to limit the people’s right to protest or to gather or limit their free speech in any way. It simply increases the penalty on a law that already makes it illegal for pedestrians to obstruct a specific roadway.
Motorists and emergency personnel should not be put at risk if a group of people is upset about something and decides to walk in the middle of the busiest interstate in Minnesota and make a scene. That is why the illegal highway obstruction law is already on the books, and why the House has overwhelmingly supported legislation that increases penalties on those who choose to participate in this unlawful behavior.
As always, I am interested in your feedback. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail at Rep.Kathy.Lohmer@House.MN or contact my office at 651-296-4244. You can also send mail to my office address: 501 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.
Have a good weekend,
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