Any appointments to the state commission that sets sentencing guidelines for criminal offenses would need approval of the Minnesota Senate, under a bill Republicans are moving forward but Democrats strongly oppose. G-O-P lawmakers have criticized the Sentencing Guidelines Commission for setting a five-year cap on probation — plus a now-scrapped plan they warn would reduce sentences for those who commit crimes while on probation. Republican Senator Warren Limmer from Maple Grove:
“We have a commission with members who are moving towards acting very much like a de facto legislature.”
But Saint Louis Park Democrat Ron Latz says the Sentencing Guidelines Commission is appointed, not elected, for a reason:
…”Take it out of the partisan battles that the legislature inherently gets involved in because we are inherently a political body.”
Latz notes some of the Commission’s decisions have already been targeted in election campaigns.