A discussion about Minneapolis park fees on the floor of the state House of Representatives took a detour when Republicans linked the issue to dangerous sex offenders.

For years, Minneapolis has been trying to acquire the right to charge developers a fee to build or renovate parks near their projects.

A technical change in state law to make that possible passed the House last week, but an amendment could make the fee nearly impossible to implement in some parts of the state.

Rep. Peggy Scott, R-Andover, pushed successfully for a tweak that prevents the fee from being levied for parks within 1,500 feet of a level-three sex offender's home.

"It's not guesswork to figure out that registered sex offenders shouldn't be playing near our children," Scott said.

The bill's author, Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis, expects it will be reviewed further when the House and Senate bills are resolved.

Eric Roper