ST. PAUL, MN – Legislation to expand and improve reporting of hate crimes has advanced out of the House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Division. The bill expands the categories crimes motivated by bias to include bias against a person due to the person’s gender, gender identity, or gender expression, and bias against a person who associates with someone in a protected group.
“This important measure will raise awareness of the urgent need to update our hate crime statutes in Minnesota,” said Rep. Hornstein (DFL-Minneapolis), the bill’s chief author. “It gives law enforcement and communities the tools they need to address this mounting concern. All Minnesotans deserve to feel safe. Our communities should expect no less.”
The legislation also directs the commissioner of human rights to collect supplemental data on crimes motivated by bias and appropriates money for grants to assist in collecting the data and to provide support services for victims of those crimes.
Rep. Samantha Vang (DFL-Brooklyn Center) is a co-author of the legislation.
"This bill will go a long way toward giving us the data and full understanding needed to track our rising hate crime problem so we can actively work to put an end to stop hate," said Rep. Vang, chair of the People of Color and Indigenous Caucus. "We will still have to overcome language, culture, and trust barriers to get a true picture of what our communities of color and indigenous communities are facing, but this bill will be a fantastic help in our fight against hate."
The bill awaits action in the Minnesota Senate.