Public safety bill would change law enforcemnt practices in Minnesota

A bill aimed at curbing crime was introduced Thursday morning in the state legislature, potentially making a host of changes to law enforcement practices and budgeting over the next few years.

The 110 page omnibus package, proposed by Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center, started debate in the Public Safety Committee Thursday and includes proposals for various police and sentencing reforms.

Perhaps the most well publicized of these initiatives is a proposal to implement a security grant program for organizations that are likely to be the target of terrorism, most notably religious institutions and non-profits.

The bill also increases the penalties for blocking a freeway and requirements for police to undergo crisis management and diversity training, among other things.

Most notably not included in the text is a “stand your ground” provision which would loosen self-defense laws in Minnesota. A similar proposal was debated earlier this month in the state Legislature.

Under the proposed law police would be allowed to issue restraining orders, carry firearms into private establishments and would require all sheriffs to have at least one receptacle for prescription drugs.

In addition, it would make soliciting or assisting in acts of terrorism a felony, among many other things.