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Bench & Bar of Minnesota is the official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Lobbying priorities for 2018

The MSBA’s lobbying priorities for the 2018 Minnesota Legislative session will be to address the constitutional infirmity in the sentencing of juveniles for heinous crimes and to revise the statute of limitations for injury to property occurring prior to the date of substantial completion of an improvement to real property. A third priority will depend in part on whether the Legislature moves a tax bill forward.

The Commission on Juvenile Sentencing for Heinous Crimes issued a final report in December supporting one of two remedies to address Minnesota’s unconstitutional statute: amend the Heinous Crimes Act to specify the factors that should be used to sentence juveniles who are convicted of crimes under the Act, or eliminate the mandatory sentence of life without the possibility of release for juveniles who are convicted of crimes under the Act. Four legislators served on the commission.

The second MSBA priority responds to a 2015 Minnesota Supreme Court case in which the Court noted that the language of Minn. Stat. §541.051 compelled its holding but recognized policy concerns with the holding. The proposed revision provides that the statute of limitations for damage to real or personal property occurring prior to substantial completion of the construction of an improvement to real property does not begin to run until completion of the improvement.

Because the Minnesota legislative session does not begin until late February, the MSBA deferred determining a third lobbying priority until closer to the beginning of the session. If a tax bill is brought forward, the MSBA has several positions it will work to get into the bill.

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