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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Duane Quam (R)

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News from Rep. Quam (3-23-15)

Monday, March 23, 2015
Hello from the State Capitol,
Last Friday, March 20th, marked the first committee deadline. Bills have to be heard in at least one committee before this deadline to ensure that they continue moving through the legislative process. I’d like to update you on some of my bills that received hearings last week.
Increasing Protections for Victims of Identity Theft
House File 31 was heard before the Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee on Tuesday. HF 31 calls for the public safety commissioner to create a working group “to study the advocacy and legal needs of victims of identity theft.”
This working group would look to assist identity theft victims by creating a process and documentation that will make it easier to regain control of their identity, and prevent issues with law enforcement if someone uses their identity to commit a crime.
The bill has been sent to the Government Operations and Elections Committee where it awaits its next hearing.
Bipartisan Support for Bill Addressing Sex Trafficking
Also being heard in the Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee this week was House File 1232.
HF 1232 amends provisions related to sex trafficking in a number of different areas including: data privacy, predatory offender registration, evidence, crime victim identity protection, and affirmative defenses and limitations periods.
By doing this, we can strengthen penalties and expand eligibility for predators to be charged with a crime and punished by law while working to protect sex trafficking victims’ identities.
This bill was sent to the Civil Law and Data Practices Committee where it received its second hearing on Thursday.
Improving the Group Residential Housing Program
House File 1271 received a hearing in the Health and Human Services Reform Committee on Monday.
HF 1271 modifies the Group Residential Housing (GRH) program by adding quality controls and makes adjustments that help clients in transition to independent living.
GRH is a state program that provides payments on behalf of eligible persons to pay for room and board and related housing services.
HF 1271 has been sent to the Civil Law and Data Practices Committee.
Protecting the Integrity of Minnesota Elections
House File 90 was heard before the Government Operations and Elections Policy Committee on Thursday. HF 90 would establish a system of provisional balloting for voters whose eligibility to vote is challenged.
This bill provides a mechanism for such voters to cast a provisional ballot that will then be counted after the county auditor or municipal clerk has verified that the voter is indeed eligible to vote.
Protecting Minnesotans Private Health Data
Finally, House File 1874 was heard before the Civil Law and Data Practices Committee. This bill would require any person who serves as a navigator for MNsure shall be subject to background checks.
Prior to employment as a navigator, the person must submit a completed criminal history records check consent form, a full set of classifiable fingerprints, and the required fees for submission to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
It is important that individuals who assist the public in getting signed up for MNSure who, by the nature of their job handle sensitive medical and personal information, be required to undergo a background check.
Staying in Touch
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you ever have questions, concerns, or comments on any number of issues related to the legislature. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-9236 or via email at