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S.F. No. 3975 - Probation Modifications (First Engrossment)
Author: Senator Warren Limmer
Prepared By: Kenneth P. Backhus, Senate Counsel (651/296-4396)
Date: March 12, 2020


Section 1 amends the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission’s (MSGC) enabling law to remove its authority to establish nonprison-related sanctions for criminal offenders.

Section 2 amends the MSGC’s enabling law to require it to conduct ongoing research on probation terms, conditions of probation, probation revocations, and early discharges of probation.

Section 3 amends the MSGC’s enabling law to require it to include in its annual report specified information related to how long offenders spend on probation.

Section 4 rejects the probation-related changes proposed by the MSGC in its 2020 report to the Legislature. These changes involved imposing a presumptive probation term for most felony offenders, subject to departure based on substantial and compelling reasons, of up to five years or the statutory maximum period, whichever is less.  By statute, these changes take effect on August 1, 2020, unless the Legislature, by law, provides otherwise.

Section 5 requires the MSGC to comprehensively review specified issues relating to probation and submit a proposal to the Legislature for modifications to the guidelines and, if necessary, statute. Any proposed modifications must be approved by law to take effect.

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