Senator Says Funds Necessary to Keep Communities Safe Across the State
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Senator Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul) said her bill to significantly expand resources to prosecute violent criminals in communities across Minnesota passed the Senate Judiciary Committee today. Sen. Murphy said the measure would provide the state Attorney General’s office (AGO) with funding to more than triple the number of prosecutors who can be deployed in counties across the state to go after violent offenders.
“Minnesotans have told us over and over again that safety for their families and for their communities are top priorities for them,” said Sen. Murphy. “With this funding, the Attorney General’s Office can seek justice for people and communities across Minnesota. For four years, AG Ellison has sought this needed funding but hit roadblocks in the Minnesota Senate. The AGO did not have the enough capacity or resources to assist local county attorneys who sought help in prosecuting violent criminals. It’s time to fund this work so Attorney General Ellison will be able to significantly expand prosecution of violent criminals in counties that ask for help.”
Sen. Murphy said that with the AGO’s current capacity, it has been forced to limit its prosecutions to homicides. She 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.
Since Attorney General Keith Ellison came to office in 2019, the AGO has prosecuted homicides, serious criminal sexual conduct, or other violent crimes in Aitkin, Becker, Beltrami, Big Stone, Carlton, Chippewa, Clearwater, Cook, Cottonwood, Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Grant, Hennepin, Houston, Jackson, Kanabec, LeSueur, Morrison, Pennington, Pope, Ramsey, Red Lake, Renville, Roseau, Todd, Traverse, and Wilkin counties.
Sen. Murphy said her bill will now be heard by the Senate Finance Committee, before coming to the full Senate for a vote.