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Tag Archives: Michael Paymar

House lawmakers introduce new gun proposal without universal background checks

With less than two weeks to go before legislators hit a deadline to pass policy proposals, DFL Rep. Deb Hilstrom and more than 70 co-sponsors in the House introduced a proposal that would increase penalties for felons convicted of possessing firearms and makes it a felony for individuals who provide false reports of stolen or lost firearms or knowingly purchase a gun for an ineligible person. The bill would also step up law enforcement collection and sharing of background check data.

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How reforms to criminal property forfeiture stalled out at the Legislature

In 2009, there were 4,895 incidents across the state in which police officers permanently seized property from individuals allegedly involved in criminal activity. Almost all of these seizures involved cash, firearms or vehicles. The total street value of the haul, according to a study released this week by the State Auditor’s office: $4.8 million. That money helped bolster the coffers of police departments and county attorneys across the state.

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Proposed changes to state’s open-meetings law prompt widely diverging assessments

In Rich Neumeister’s view, a proposal currently before the Minnesota Legislature could fundamentally weaken the state’s mandate that government business is to be conducted under the glare of public scrutiny. The veteran citizen-lobbyist argues that the legislation is a misguided effort to clarify existing state law in the wake of decades of court decisions regarding open-meeting requirements.

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House DFL contemplates a world after Margaret

As the 86th Minnesota Legislature commences its last lap, most members think the session is likelier to end with a whimper than a bang. Barring the unexpected — the undoing of Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s $2.7 billion in unallotments by the Minnesota Supreme Court, or a holdup in the federal passage of additional FMAP health care dollars — all that’s really left is the resolution of another $155 million in health and human services cuts. But there's a House DFL leadership contest lurking behind the gubernatorial race to which everyone is now turning their attention.

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Bill to rein in police seizures stalls

Cops shouldn’t be allowed to “eat what they kill.” That was the message conveyed by Rep. Tina Liebling at Thursday’s hearing before the House’s Civil Justice Committee. The Rochester Democrat was seeking support for legislation that would overhaul the state’s rules governing forfeiture of property associated with criminal activity.

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