ST. PAUL — The Public Safety and Judiciary Omnibus bill passed the House Tuesday, having been stripped of all controversial or anti-police policy. The compromise bill that passed included the Officer Arik Matson Bill, which increases penalties for first degree assault of a criminal justice official. The bill also includes "Matthew's Law" authored by Rep. Duane Quam, R-Byron, which would require the creation of a model confidential informant policy that would provide better protections for informants, as well as require training for the law enforcement agencies that use them.
"I am glad we were able to get Matthew's Law into the public safety bill this session," said Rep. Quam, who has carried the bill in the House for the last two sessions after the death of Matthew Klaus of Rochester when he was working as a confidential informant. "I have worked with the Klaus family and law enforcement advocates to get these protections for the use of confidential informants in place. This is a positive change and will help both law enforcement officers and those working as informants remain safe."
The bill also included revisions to the criminal sexual conduct statute, which will bring justice to countless victims of sexual assault. It also lacked the harsh business mandates originally included in the Judiciary portion of the bill, such as the salary history ban and housing discrimination protections.
Quam concluded, "I wish the bill had more protections for victims and better supported our law enforcement community, including fixing joint-powers agreements for our law enforcement agencies."