ST. PAUL, Minn. — On Friday, the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee heard two of Senator Heather Gustafson’s (DFL-Vadnais Heights) public safety bills. SF 1475 offers funding to services to support victims of sexual assault, crime, domestic violence, and child abuse. SF 2019 sets a time limit for forensic laboratories to process sexual assault examination kits. In response, Senator Gustafson released the following statement:
“Public Safety was a top priority to me on the campaign trail and it’s a top priority to me now. My two bills heard in the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee offer long overdue and much needed protections for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, crime, and abuse. Survivors of these crimes already are faced with processing significant grief, trauma, and pain. They deserve to have the resources and support they need to heal and reclaim their agency. Senate File 2019 creates a 90-day timeframe for testing sexual assault kits. This provision ensures that law enforcement can effectively investigate reported sexual assault cases so survivors can have the closure that completion of forensic testing offers them. Additionally, SF 1475 would increase funding for crime victim services, ensuring that survivors have access to resources like shelter and housing, food assistance, childcare and transportation, counseling, and legal advocacy to assist them in navigating an abusive or violent situation.”
Senate File 1475 was laid over for possible inclusion in an omnibus bill and Senate File 2019 passed in the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee and is headed to the Senate floor.