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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Eric Lucero (R)

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Spring is in the air

Friday, March 23, 2018

Dear Friends and Neighbors,


The first day of Spring was Tuesday this week and spring fever is certainly in the air with longer days and temperatures beginning to warm.

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Rep. Lucero visiting with STMA School Board Member Gayle Weber and Superintendent Ann-Marie Foucault at the Capitol.

FAMILY LAW REFORM

The dynamics of families has significantly changed in recent decades but family law in MN statutes has been slow to catch up. I'm among those supporting efforts to enact much need reforms to protect the best interest of children while at the same time maximizing the role fit parents play in the lives of their children.

In the event of a divorce or custody proceeding, courts decide how custody is established by considering factors important to the best interest of the child. Courts must follow certain parameters established in statute when making considerations. This week in the Civil Law Committee we heard HF 2699 which seeks to provide additional guidance parameters.  Provisions in the bill include:

  • Permit joint physical custody to be considered a rebuttable presumption along with joint legal custody.
  • Ensure the inability to pay child support shall not be cause for denial of parenting time.
  • Raise the rebuttable presumption a parent is entitled from 25% parenting to 40% parenting (unless parents agree otherwise). This provision provides great flexibility for parents to determine what is in their family’s best interest.

There were many testifiers in support of the bill.  It was heart-wrenching to hear story after story how parents are presently being denied a role in their children's lives.  HF 2699 is an incredibly important bill which passed the Civil Law Committee and was sent to the full House Floor.

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Rep. Lucero meeting with constituent high school students Taylor and Abby.

CIVIL FORFEITURE

Minnesota law presently permits government seizure of private property as both a civil and criminal penalty. We heard HF 3725, a bill seeking to remove civil forfeiture from MN statute, in the Civil Law Committee this week. I am co-author of HF 3725 and if the bill becomes law forfeiture will be treated exclusively as part of criminal proceedings.

The following would become exempt from forfeiture:

  • Homesteaded real property
  • A motor vehicle with a market value of less than $10,000 (unless the motor vehicle was used in a drive-by shooting)
  • United States currency of less than $500

Other details of the bill can get complicated but essentially a person must be convicted of a crime before private property can be forfeited thus upholding the Constitutional principle of innocent until proven guilty. Jason Flohrs from Americans for Prosperity and Lee McGrath from Institute for Justice were among those who testified in favor of the bill.

HF 3725 passed the Civil Law Committee and was sent to the Public Safety Committee.

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Rep. Lucero meeting with Saint Michael constituent Sue Spalding to discuss the important work she is doing as CEO of the Minnesota-North Dakota chapter Alzheimer's Association.

 

PROTECTING LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS

In the Public Safety Committee this week we passed two bills seeking to provide additional support for the hardworking men and women in law enforcement who risk their lives every day to keep us safe.

During the Minneapolis mayoral race in 2017, one mayoral candidate suggested Minneapolis police officers be disarmed. This is a very dangerous idea to say the least! HF 4082 seeks to prevent local agencies including mayors, city councils, county boards, and chief law enforcement officials from disarming police officers. The prohibition would not apply to peace officers failing to be in good standing or in process of any disciplinary action.

HF 3610 was also heard and seeks to increase the penalty from a gross misdemeanor to a felony for physically assaulting a peace officer.

I was proud to support both bills!

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Rep. Lucero visiting with Albertville constituents Aaron and Corey at the Capitol.

STAYING IN TOUCH

As always please contact me to share any issues, concerns, or feedback you may have that will assist me best represent you.  The best way to reach me is by email at Rep.Eric.Lucero@House.MN or by phone at 651-296-1534.

Sincerely,
Eric Lucero

State Representative
District 30B
Albertville, Hanover, Otsego, Saint Michael, and the Wright County portion of Dayton

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