A proposed expansion of the Moose Lake sex offender facility is raising questions about the state's civil commitment policy.
Legislators are considering an $89 million bonding bill request that would double the capacity of a sex offender treatment program. During a House committee hearing today Monday, officials who oversee the program said the growth of court-ordered civil commitments is expected to fill the current Moose Lake facility in just over two years.
DFL Rep. Tina Leibling of Rochester said she's troubled by the growth, and by the bonding request.
"This is not where I want to be spending the state's money. I really don't," Leibling said. "I want to be building colleges. I want to be building health care facilities. I don't want to be building places to store people forever and try to treat them."
A state Department of Human Services official told legislators that on a per capita basis, Minnesota tops the nation in sex offender civil commitments.