Sex offender release could be topic on House floor Monday

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The full House is expected to take up legislation Monday to address the impending provisional discharge of a convicted sex offender Clarence Opheim from the Minnesota Sex Offender Program.

During a media availability, House Speaker Kurt Zellers (R-Maple Grove) said Republicans will move to pass legislation to address community notification for sex offenders.

Opheim is scheduled to live in a halfway house on a provisional basis, members of the community will not be required to receive notification of his presence, under current law.

“We take these things very seriously,” Zellers said.

House Minority Leader Paul Thissen (DFL-Mpls) indicated his party would support the measure.

Gov. Mark Daytons’ Feb. 15 State of the State address was also a topic raised in the back-to-back press meetings with House majority and minority leadership.

“One thing that was missing (from the speech) is that the state of the state is good,” Zellers said. He cited conservative fiscal management and “job creators” as contributors to the financial health of Minnesota.

Thissen praised the speech, commending its focus on the state economy and employment.

“I hope we continue to stand ready and willing to work on specific things that will help people get back to work,” he said. Thissen added that legislation regarding the economy would be forthcoming from DFLers.

Details on a new Vikings stadium plan remained unclear. Both leaders declined to offer predictions on whether a deal would be reached during the regular session, appearing unenthusiastic for continuing the debate in a special session.

“It’s one of those things where you can’t say, because you don’t know,” Zellers said.

Thissen urged for political focus to shift to upcoming bills surrounding other topics, such as the economy and voter identification.