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RELEASE: House Republicans respond to Public Safety and Judiciary Omnibus passage

Thursday, April 22, 2021

ST. PAUL — House GOP Public Safety Lead Rep. Brian Johnson, R-Cambridge, and GOP Judiciary Lead, Rep. Peggy Scott, R-Andover, issued the following statement after passage of SF 970, the Public Safety and Judiciary Omnibus bill.

The public safety portion of the bill included provisions to divert violent criminals from prison time, hides some offenders' sentences even from their victims, and allows governing bodies to put activists in charge of law enforcement agencies.

"This bill lets criminals go free, hides information from the public, and makes it harder to recruit and train new peace officers," said Johnson. "While this bill does have some good points, the majority of this bill is hostile to law enforcement and counter to public safety. This is the wrong way to go for Minnesota."

The judiciary portion included several onerous provisions for businesses. The bill would prohibit employers from asking about past salary history but creates a “rebuttable presumption” where the burden of proof is on the employer. Similar language is not found in the Human Rights statute. This bill also forces housing providers to accept housing vouchers, creating more restrictions and forcing them to accept renters and abide by the requirements of the public assistance programs.

“More government regulations make it harder to ensure a just and fair society in Minnesota,” said Scott. “As families and businesses struggle amidst the COVID pandemic, we need to make it easier for Minnesotans to live and work. This bill creates too many mandates at a time where we need our job creators and housing providers the most.”