Today, I heard the news that Congressman Jim Hagedorn has passed away following a battle with cancer. As a friend of Jim’s, I am shocked and saddened. I have known Jim for many years. I always enjoyed spending time with him and talking about the issues. As a congressman, Jim put his constituents first. He worked to make their lives better, and he never stopped fighting for Minnesota.
My thoughts and prayers are with Jennifer and their entire family.
Yesterday, the House Public Safety Committee heard my bill, HF 3120. This bill establishes a work group to study labor trafficking and exploitation in Minnesota. This work group will be made up of individuals from many different backgrounds including representatives from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Attorney General’s Office, and the County Attorney’s Association. Additionally, the work group will include survivors of labor trafficking.
I was very encouraged that the Public Safety Committee responded positively to this bill. As a matter of fact, the bill passed out of committee by a unanimous vote of 19-0. However, there is still more work to do. The next stop for the bill is the House Human Services Committee. I am very pleased that the bill received bipartisan support from both Democrats and Republicans.
Figuring out how to tackle labor trafficking issues is a very complex topic. There are clear distinctions we need to make between purveyors of labor trafficking and victims of labor trafficking. I am hopeful that establishing this work group can make that happen.
This session I have authored a new bill known as HF 2815. This legislation is very important and is meant to address a delicate and unfortunate situation.
In my district, a county attorney brought charges against a farmer who was secretly recording his female employees as they showered. The farmer had taken dozens of videos and over 100 photos. However, the county attorney discovered that every photo and all but six of the videos were beyond the statute of limitations. As a result, the county attorney could only bring six criminal charges against this farmer instead of the dozens that are warranted.
Obviously, this is a sickening situation. The farmer who did this is a monstrous human being who violated these women by invading their privacy. The fact that only six charges can be brought against this individual is wrong. He is responsible for all of his crimes. Sadly, nothing can be done to fix this situation. However, we can change the law to ensure this never happens again.
My bill, HF 2815, would change how the statute of limitations works in these types of situations. Instead of the statute of limitations beginning when an offense of this nature occurs, the statute of limitations would begin when photographs or videos in violation of the law are discovered. That way, these offenders can be charged for every one of their crimes.
HF 2815 will be heard next week in the House Public Safety Committee. To read the bill in full, please see here.