Legislation that would expand assault protections to employees of the Minnesota Security Hospital passed the Senate Floor this week. The bill addresses the high rate of assault among those who supervise or work directly with dangerous patients and/or persons with mental illnesses at the St. Peter hospital. The legislation helps to keep both employees and clients of the hospital safe and is a step toward zero-tolerance of violence in the workplace.
Currently, this law covers employees working in the sex offender programs in Moose Lake and St. Peter; this legislation would expand fourth-degree assault protections to hospital employees by including the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter in the definition of “secure treatment facility.” The crime is amended to include assaults by persons committed as mentally ill and dangerous and patients admitted from jail or prison who are ordered confined for a competency examination. This legislation would take the penalty for assaulting an employee from a misdemeanor to a felony.
The bill was passed off the Senate floor with a vote of 40-23. (S.F. 1120)