Yesterday, House Democrats brought their police reform and criminal justice legislation to the Floor for a vote. The package of proposals was in response to the tragic death of George Floyd. Sadly I am disappointed that instead of working to build consensus, Democrats put forward partisan proposals, some of which didn’t have anything to do with police reform.
To be clear, there were proposals in the bill that I agree with or believe would be positive public policy for the state to enact. Unfortunately, there were too many poison pills in the bill to gain my support.
You can watch my comments from the House floor on this bill here or by clicking the photo below.
Here are a few provisions that I found particularly objectionable:
The bill ultimately represents a significant missed opportunity to pass common sense policy that would improve transparency, accountability, and training for law enforcement.
One specific proposal that I would have liked to see included was to move public employee grievances from arbitration to the Office of Administration. This change would make it easier for law enforcement to terminate “bad apples” or officers that engage in bad conduct. Former Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau said in an interview that the arbitration process prevented her from firing officers who had repeatedly violated department policies.
Here in our communities, we are fortunate to have a professional law enforcement teams that serve our area and county with dignity and respect.
Unfortunately, so much of the rhetoric and public discourse these days cast all law enforcement in a negative light. Fortunately, and rightly, the vast majority of our community stands behind law enforcement and I thank them and their families for keeping us all safe and the sacrifices they make.
Have a great weekend,