ST. PAUL, Minn. – On Monday, the Senate passed a bill to invest resources to prosecute violent crime in communities across the state. The bill would provide the state Attorney General’s office (AGO) with funding to more than triple the number of prosecutors who can be deployed to assist county attorneys in prosecuting high priority cases.
“Public safety was a top priority for Minnesota voters last year, and safe communities are a priority for me,” said chief author Sen. Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul). “This funding assures our 87 county attorneys have what they need to pursue justice for Minnesotans. Attorney General Ellison and his staff have assisted prosecutions in dozens of counties, covering every corner of the state, and this funding ensures his office is prepared to keep our local communities safe.”
With the AGO’s current capacity, it has been forced to limit its prosecutions to homicides. Senator Murphy said if her bill is signed into law, the AGO could take on dozens of new cases across the state each year and expand the scope of those prosecutions beyond homicides to include violent crimes like attempted murder, kidnapping, assault, sexual assault, robbery, burglary. It could also include human and sex trafficking, white-collar crime, and cases where crimes are committed in multiple counties.