Senator John Marty’s Catalytic Converter Theft Prevention Legislation Signed into Law by Governor Walz

After three years of inaction Senator John Marty’s (DFL-Roseville) legislation on catalytic converter theft prevention was signed into law Thursday by Governor Tim Walz. The legislation was a top priority of Senate DFLers and will crack down on an issue that is affecting tens of thousands of Minnesota families throughout the state.

In response, Sen. Mary released the following statement: 

“After years of inaction, we have finally taken an important step in protecting Minnesotans. This legislation will crack down on the black market that deals in stolen catalytic converters, and gives law enforcement tools they need to stop bad actors. I’m thankful for the work of my House colleague Rep. Ruth Richardson on this issue, and want to thank Governor Walz for signing this bill into law.”


Senate Finance Chair John Marty Releases Statement in Response to February Budget Forecast

The Minnesota Management and Budget Office released the February Budget Forecast Monday, projecting a $17.5 billion budget surplus. 

In response, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee Senator John Marty (DFL-Roseville) released the following statement:

“Minnesota’s strong financial health will allow us to deliver meaningful change for working families across the state. Most of the projected surplus is one-time funding, which requires a strategic approach as we build a responsible budget for today and the future. Together with my colleagues, we will continue working to create a budget that reflects our shared values by lowering costs, increasing stability, and ensuring an economy that works for all.”



Senate Passes Legislation Adding Inflation to Future State Budget Forecasts

Measure increases transparency and provides full picture of Minnesota’s finances

The Senate passed legislation allowing the Minnesota Department of Management and Budget to include inflation in future state budget forecasts in a bipartisan 35-30 vote Monday. The bill provides transparency and a clear picture about Minnesota’s finances, according to chief author and Finance Committee Chair Senator John Marty (DFL-Roseville)

“If we want to create an honest and responsible budget for Minnesota, we need an honest picture of our state’s finances,” said Sen. Marty. “Just like a weather forecast, we want a budget forecast that has the most accurate information available to us, which will allow us as policymakers to make the most informed decisions possible with our budget. No business would make budget decisions based on budget projections that factor in inflation on the revenue side of their business, but not the expenditure side. Neither should state government.”

Passage of this legislation, HF 35, aligns Minnesota with the rest of the country in terms of economic forecasting: before today, Minnesota was the only state in the country where budget forecasters were told to count inflation on one side of the equation but not the other. By taking inflation into account for both revenues and expenditures, Minnesotans will have the full and transparent picture of state finances.



Lawmakers form Legislative Secular Government Caucus

In response to the rise in Christian Nationalism, where some people and politicians feel they have a license to impose their personal religious beliefs upon others, a group of Minnesota Legislators are creating a new Secular Government Caucus, a coalition of nonbelievers and religious people to uphold our constitutional separation of church and state.  

Caucus members include members of various faith communities as well as non-believers, agnostics, and humanists. All of them are committed to preserving the freedom of conscience that is guaranteed in the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  

“We are troubled by the efforts from some politicians to push a Christian Nationalist agenda, where right-wing Christian politicians are attempting to break down the wall of separation between church and state in order to push their beliefs on others,” according to the caucus co-chairs. 

They point to actions of the Legislative Prayer Caucus’ that pushed a Christian Nationalist agenda in Minnesota, such as a legislative proposal to post “In God We Trust” posters in public schools, and even an attempt to defund the Minnesota Historical Society because the MHS invited a respected historian to speak at a Historical Society event about how the nation’s founders were not interested in creating a Christian government.  

The Secular Government Caucus will offer legislators a place to stay informed about challenges to religious liberty and to work together to protect the secular character of our government by adhering to the Constitutional principle of separation of church and state, and to oppose discrimination against religious and nonreligious people.  

The caucus has been organized and is being co-chaired by: 

Senator John Marty  

Senator Jen McEwen 

Representative Mike Freiberg  

Representative Athena Hollins

Founding members of the Secular Government Caucus include: 

Sen. John Marty 

Sen. Jen McEwen 

Rep. Mike Freiberg 

Rep. Athena Hollins 

Sen. Omar Fateh 

Sen. Steve Cwodzinski 

Rep. Jess Hanson 

Sen. Ron Latz 

Sen. Jim Carlson 

Rep. Robert Bierman 

Sen. Melissa Wiklund 

Sen. Mary Kunesh 

Rep. Kaela Berg 

Sen. Susan Kent 

Sen. Ann Johnson Stewart 

Rep. John Huot 

Rep. Alice Hausman 

Sen. Chris Eaton 

Rep. Frank Hornstein 

Sen. Sandy Pappas 

Rep. Kelly Morrison 

Rep. Liz Reyer 

Sen. Jerry Newton 

Rep. Steve Elkins 

Senator Marty Introduces Responsible Gun Regulation bills

Today, Senator John Marty introduced legislation addressing gun violence through reasonable gun regulation.

Marty’s legislation, Senate File 3377 and 3378, would:

  • License gun owners, requiring background checks, significant training, and insurance.
  • Register firearms, and re-register them when they are transferred to a new owner.
  • Require additional training for people to carry guns
  • Tighten up restrictions on who can carry a gun in public and where they can carry it
  • Require permit holders to have training in strategies for deescalating potentially lethal encounters
  • Prohibit carrying of assault rifles in public places
  • Establish a crime of gun trafficking
  • Require safe storage of firearms
  • Require prompt reporting of lost or stolen firearms
  • Prohibit people under 21 from owning pistols, semi-automatic assault rifles, with additional restrictions for minors under 18.
  • Ban:
    • “ghost guns” (no serial numbers)
    • undetectable guns
    • large capacity ammunition magazines
    • high powered .50 caliber or larger firearms

“In the debate among legislators regarding violent crime, DFLers  call for more investment in policing, mental health treatment, and other public safety efforts, as well as major reforms to address the racism and inequity that is deeply rooted in our justice system.  While there are some minor, but important, gun regulations DFLers propose including a red flag law to remove guns from people who pose a threat along with legislation to close loopholes in the background check law, there is a great hesitation to talk about a responsible regulatory system for firearms,” Marty said. “In contrast, Republican legislators call for more investment in policing and prisons, and blame DFLers for causing crime. Republican legislators virtually unanimously oppose new firearms regulation.”

“Gun regulation has been the third rail of American politics. But the increase in murders, accidental shootings, suicides, armed carjackings and robberies, as well as the ongoing tragedy of mass shootings, shows how urgent the need for change is. A responsible gun safety regulatory system would reduce crime and save lives,” Senator Marty said.

In an analogy Senator Marty made, he compared the way Minnesota regulates automobiles to how we should view gun regulation pointing out that there are lawful uses for both guns and cars, but both are deadly when misused:

“With cars, we require the operator to be trained and licensed. We register the vehicle, and re-register it when transferring to a new owner. We require liability insurance. We also require safety modifications and regulate how and where they are driven.

“For guns, there is no licensing, no training requirement, no registration, no insurance, no safety equipment required. This enables criminals to obtain guns with no background check, no waiting period – no means of enforcement at all.”

Senator Marty’s violence prevention legislation was carefully constructed to protect constitutional rights as well as the interests of the millions of Minnesotans who have guns for hunting, for personal protection, or for shooting sports.

Automobile regulations are aimed at protecting public safety, and they necessarily apply to all people, not just those who intend to harm others. This legislation takes the same approach for firearms.

Senator Marty pointed out that the U.S. Constitution explicitly says “well-regulated” when referring to gun rights, yet the gun lobby opposes any form of gun regulation. The courts have said that reasonable restrictions may be placed on the possession of firearms. The National Firearms Act of 1934 effectively banned machine guns from most private ownership. Since that time, the “Tommy Guns” of the Al Capone era and other fully automatic machine guns have not been used in mass killings or other crimes.”

Over the decades, automobile regulation has reduced the traffic death toll by 90% per mile driven. States with stronger gun laws average far less than half the gun violence deaths per capita than states with the weakest laws. Like automobile regulation, gun regulation saves lives.

“Despite their political rhetoric, Politicians are not ‘tough on crime if they oppose any regulation of people trying to get a gun for carjacking, armed robbery, or murder until after they have committed their violent acts,” Marty said. “Intervening after a crime does nothing to protect victims or prevent crime.”

“These modest proposals do not punish responsible gun owners any more than vehicle registration punishes responsible car owners. But these proposals will help stop the arms race on our streets and prevent the countless situations where anyone with a temper or a minor grudge can end up murdering someone in a road rage incident.”

Graphic comparing automobile and car regulations:

Summary of SF 3377 and 3378: