HF 2265, chief authored by Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL-St. Paul) passed the Minnesota House with a vote of 73-54. Pinto’s bill would order DHS to “set aside or variance” individuals previously disqualified “for a crime or conduct listed under section 245C.15, subdivision 1” so long as 20 years have passed since the crime.
Crimes listed under 245C.15, subdivision 1 include: Felony-level stalking, drive-by shooting, malicious punishment of a child, solicitation of children to engage in sexual conduct, murder of an unborn child in the first degree, kidnapping, domestic assault by strangulation, child abuse or neglect, spousal abuse, domestic assault, and murder in the first, second, and third degree.
This bill would allow for individuals convicted of these crimes to apply for and work in service program positions that DHS offers such as Personal Care Attendants (PCAs), providers of home and community-based care services for Minnesotans with disabilities, adult day services, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) drivers, and more.
“This bill opens the door to allowing literal murderers and child sex offenders to work alongside Minnesota’s most vulnerable citizens with no guarantees or safeguards that they have been rehabilitated and ready to rejoin the workforce,” Deputy Minority Leader Anne Neu (R-North Branch) said in a statement.
Deputy Minority Leader Neu also pointed out how this bill fits right into the agenda democrats have in Minnesota this session, saying “Democrats have been focused on restorative justice by any means necessary, even if it puts Minnesotans at risk.”
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Megan Olson is a 2020 graduate of the University of Minnesota with degrees in political science and history. She works in public affairs in addition to serving on the Legislative Advisory Council for School District 196. She is also on the school board for FIT academy, a charter school in Apple Valley.