MNJAC Bill Introduced at Capitol, Hearing Set for Thurs.
A bill introduced at the Legislature would lay the foundation for state funding of the Minnesota Joint Analysis Center, known as MNJAC, the state's anti-terrorism and crime fighting fusion center.
The legislation, introduced by chief author Rep. Kelby Woodard (R-Belle Plaine), would authorize a fusion center in the state, although MNJAC has been operational since it qualified for its first federal grant in 2004.
Since then, it has not received a penny from the state budget, making it beholden, critics say, to federal rules and priorities, leaving statewide and regional crime without a dedicated, central clearinghouse for information sharing by Minnesota law enforcement agencies.
The bill, HF2435, which would lay the legal framework for state control of a fusion center but does not actually allocate any funding, will get a hearing on Thursday, March 1, 2012, in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
The bill was introduced a week after a 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS investigation, Safety Sense, raised questions about MNJAC's funding and homeland security spending across the state.
Click here to watch our original Safety Sense investigation from earlier this month and watch extended interviews, including with Rep. Tony Cornish (R-Good Thunder), who will chair the hearing on the MNJAC bill on Thursday, March 1, 2012.