Gov. Mark Dayton says an overhaul of the controversial Minnesota Sex Offender Program is not likely to make it through the legislature this year.
During a conference call with reporters Thursday, Dayton said a bipartisan effort is needed to fix the program. Dayton says Senate Republicans are working across the aisle, but Republicans in the House are not. But he recognizes it's a tough issue.
"I don't know of anybody in the legislature or in my administration who wants to expose the people of Minnesota to even the slightest risk factor with any of these people," Dayton said.
GOP House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt said there's disagreement over putting some offenders into less restrictive living quarters, but Republicans aren't stalling the legislation.
"A disagreement on an issue isn't holding the issue up," Daudt said. "If they're failing to recognize that maybe there are other alternatives, I think it's not accurate to say that we might be holding the bill up."
About 700 offenders live under civil commitment in two prison-like facilities in Moose Lake and St. Peter, even though most have completed prison sentences. In a lawsuit, they claim their confinement is unconstitutional.
In a ruling last month, federal Judge Donovan Frank said the program risks running afoul of the Constitution unless state lawmakers take action.