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House panel votes to back governor sex offender stance

ST. PAUL -- A Minnesota House committee unanimously voted Tuesday to support the position Gov. Mark Dayton and Attorney General Lori Swanson are taking in appealing a federal judge's decision that a state sex offender program is unconstitutional....

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ST. PAUL -- A Minnesota House committee unanimously voted Tuesday to support the position Gov. Mark Dayton and Attorney General Lori Swanson are taking in appealing a federal judge's decision that a state sex offender program is unconstitutional.

The House Rules Committee, made up of leaders from both parties, approved spending $20,000 to hire a private attorney to file what is known as an amicus brief that indicates the House backs the appeal.

"Today's action by the House Rules Committee demonstrates our commitment to protecting citizens and families, as well as our support of the state’s appeal of the judge's ruling," House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers, said.

In June, Judge Donovan Frank ruled the state program unconstitutional because it requires some sex offenders to take treatment indefinitely in a prison-like setting after they served sentences. State officials say state law is constitutional.

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