A proposed joint House and Senate Judiciary and Policy bill includes an additional $111 spending in spending for the courts and public safety, but includes a measure legalizing firearm suppressors—more commonly known as “silencers”—remains, despite a veto threat from Gov. Mark Dayton.
The bill still awaits final votes in the waning hours of the session.
The compromise, which was reached early Sunday morning, provides $2.12 billion in spending, and includes pay raises for judges, staff boosts for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, funding to combat sex trafficking and to prevent recruitment of Minnesotans to terror organizations like ISIS and Al-Shabaab.
The bill is absent a push to restore voting rights to convicted felons after they are released from incarceration. Proponents were optimistic because of Republican support, but the measure failed to receive a hearing in committee.
Language that measure that would legalize firearm suppressors could put the bill in jeopardy. Gov. Mark Dayton said last month that he would veto any legislation that contains firearms suppressors.
The bill also lowers the threshold for advanced drunken driving penalties from a blood alcohol level of .20 to .16. Another would make legal the necessity defense, a measure that stems from a lengthy court battle in the case of Jennifer Axelberg, who had no choice but to drive legally drunk to escape her husband during a domestic dispute. Some of the proposals are the results of recommendations by the state’s DWI Task Force.
Drones didn't make the cut.
.After three years, the House and Senate also compromised separately on Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPR), allowing law enforcement to store data gleaned from the devices for 60 days, a compromise between a 90-day Senate bill and a 30-day House bill. A controversial amendment in the Senate bill that would regulate the use of police body cameras was removed. Benjamin Feist, Legislative Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, said the ALPR deal was a “split the baby” approach.
I don’t think anybody was really going further on the issue. Everybody had their positions on the issue and I don’t think anyone’s views have really evolved.” Feist said.
Feist said the ACLU is pleased that investigators must obtain a warrant before tracking someone with ALPR as part of an active criminal investigation.