Brandon's Law approved by House
Thumbs up: The Minnesota House Monday approved Brandon's Law, legislation would require a quicker response when young adults are reported missing. The bill has the backing of Rep. Marty Seifert, R-Marshall and the parents of Dan Zamlen of Eveleth, the college student who was reported missing in St. Paul earlier this month. The law is named for Brandon Swanson, 19, of Marshall who has been missing since May 14. Swanson's parents Brian and Annette Swanson of Marshall have been working with Seifert and other legislators on the law. Now, the Senate needs to pass the law.
A scary reminder
Thumbs down: This an obvious thumbs down, but the news comes after Patty Wetterling made a visit to Marshall to talk about how vulnerable our children and young adults are to sexual assault and exploitation. We hear again this week of a former teacher who has been convicted of having sex with a 10- year-old student and his 15-year-old brother. Wetterling said many of the abused children and young adults are abused by someone they know.
Sideways thumb: While it's good the Senate has taken some action on budget issues, a 7 percent cut to public safety and corrections may not be a good idea. Every state department must share in the budget issue, but a 7 percent cut to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension causes us to worry if the negative impact may be additional time to process evidence from crimes or even fewer BCA officers. Maybe that worry is unwarranted, but we hope there are other ways to reduce the BCA budget. Second, a cut to Homeland Security could be good, if the cuts are made in mandated programs that seem to have little application in rural Minnesota for example. We are more vulnerable to crime related drug use and have more need for responses to domestic assault and other crimes, as opposed to the preventing the likelihood of a terrorist attacking our city hall. While some Homeland Security issues have very practical uses such as coordination between agencies and the like, some just don't seem to make much sense.