Bill Seeks to Allow City Hotel Licensing as a Public Safety Measure

March 8, 2021

The bill would allow cities to pass an ordinance requiring hotels to have a license.

HF 702 (Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn, DFL-Roseville), a bill that would allow cities to license hotels, was heard and unanimously passed out of the House Local Government Division on March 3.

The bill now goes to the House State Government Finance and Elections Committee. The Senate companion, SF 923 (Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville), has been introduced but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.

The bill would allow cities (and towns) to adopt an ordinance requiring hotels operating within city limits to have a license. Rep. Becker-Finn said the bill would be a local public safety tool to address crimes that may be happening in hotels.

Testifiers in support

Roseville Police Chief Erika Scheider testified that various crimes — including human and sex trafficking, sexual assaults, and robberies — happen in hotels. She said that unfortunately some hotels don’t work with law enforcement to address these crimes, so this bill is needed as a public safety tool.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi testified that human trafficking largely happens in hotels. When hotels aren’t working with cities to addresses these crimes, cities need an added tool to help in these situations. 

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