Judiciary bills that did not pass

Drone use by law enforcement guidelines
The legislation defines very specific guidelines on how law enforcement agencies are allowed to utilize unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Privacy advocates say drone use is akin to mass surveillance, while law enforcement says they are a necessary tool for some investigations. The legislation says search warrants must be obtained before using drones, except in an emergency or if they are used in a public area where there is a reasonable suspicion that illegal activity is occurring. Furthermore, the subject of surveillance must be notified within three days of the action and lays out guidelines on the retention, deletion, and disclosure of the data collected from the UAV. (S.F. 1299)

Gun sales background checks expansion
This legislation would significantly expand background checks on firearm sales in the state. The legislation would require all sales to be under the scrutiny of a background check, except between family members or if the firearm is willed to a person. Prior to this legislation, private seller transactions were not subject to background checks. Proponents say this is one more tool to keep firearms away from dangerous individuals. (S.F. 2493)

Legislators perform civil marriage
Currently, many public officials in Minnesota are authorized to marry people, including judges, court administrators, and ordained ministers. Some legislators have voiced their willingness to perform marriages, but under current law, they are not authorized to do so. (S.F. 1582)

Ignition interlock requirements
Ignition interlock devices are a breathalyzer that is tied into a vehicle’s ignition, and prevents a car from starting unless the driver is completely sober. These tools have been shown to be successful in cutting back on repeat drunk driving offenses. The bill would require all repeat drunk drivers to participate in the ignition interlock program in order to have their driver’s license re-instated, unless it is proven that the offender has not owned or leased a car during their revocation period. The bill also makes several other changes, including removing the requirement that offenders have to pass a driver’s exam to get their license back, and allows people to challenge a DWI if the offense relates to them taking a prescription medication in accordance with their doctor’s orders. (S.F. 3327)

Peace officers set to receive mental health crisis training
This legislation would direct the Department of Human Services, the POST board, and mental health stakeholders to create a list of approved training courses for peace officers highlighting techniques in dealing with mental health crisis situations. The training must include crisis de-escalation, community resources, and the effects of certain psychotropic medications. Furthermore, peace officers would be required to take a minimum of four hours of training over three years. (S.F. 2753)

Department of Public Safety autism trainer
This bill would authorize the Commissioner of Public Safety to hire a new staff member that would be responsible to train law enforcement, EMTs, and firefighters to better respond to emergency situations with individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The bill also lays out guidelines that must be considered when selecting the trainer and requires a report back to the legislature next year. Many emergency response organizations have testified to the difficulty in responding to incidents involving people with autism; this funding could alleviate many of those concerns. (S.F. 3264)

Silver alert
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) maintains a Crime Alert Network that allows law enforcement agencies to quickly alert the public about crime or criminals. More than 7,000 agencies, businesses, and schools participate in the program. This bill would expand the program’s missing persons network and provide money for law enforcement training on best practices in responding to and investigating missing persons cases. (S.F. 3026)

Job skills training for offenders
The Department of Corrections (DOC) would have received a boost to its EMPLOY program. MINNCORR is a DOC industry program, providing work skills to offenders and selling their products to customers. Currently, MINNCORR is totally self-sufficient and receives no tax dollars. The EMPLOY program has been extremely successful in providing employable job skills for offenders and has reduced recidivism. The $375,000 appropriation would have supplemented that work. (S.F. 3296)

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