State lawmakers are on their Easter and Passover break and they have yet to take a vote on sex offenders.
Last December, a task force recommended sweeping changes to the way Minnesota treats and houses sex offenders. About 700 people are currently in secure treatment facilities with little chance of release. A federal judge is considering whether the current system is constitutional.
In February, District Court Judge Donovan Frank did issue a ruling imploring lawmakers to do something to fix the system immediately.
Minnesota lawmakers aren't likely to change the state's state sex offender program this year, despite serious concerns raised about the program by a federal judge in February.
That's according to DFL Rep. Tina Liebling. She's chair of the state's House Health and Human Services Policy Committee.
Liebling says she thinks the upcoming election is making the issue too controversial to address.
"Our whole goal, all along, has been to improve public safety while making this a program that would survive constitutional scrutiny. And its a very explosive issue. Especially in an election year. People are just very worried that this is an issue that can be messaged badly," she said.
"Obviously, the worst that could happen here is the judge could shut down the whole program," she said. "I don't think that's going to happen in the short run, because it is going to take some time to look at all of theses people who are in the program now. But it could happen. Or he could let out certain people. Or he could just order changes. And the problem for lawmakers, of course, is that whatever the judge orders, we have to pay for."
MPR's Cathy Wurzer spoke with Liebling. You can click on the story audio link to hear the full conversation.