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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jon Koznick (R)

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Koznick Connection: Legislative Update (June 19, 2020)

Friday, June 19, 2020

Dear Lakeville Neighbors,

In the wake of the George Floyd tragedy, there has been significant interest and public pressure to enact police reforms that would improve accountability and trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

What initially started as an earnest conversation about ways we can strengthen public safety and equip law enforcement with the training needed to better serve their communities, the debate has devolved into an escalating series of dangerous and unserious proposals.

One proposal that has received a lot of attention is a movement to “defund and disband” or “abolish” the (Minneapolis) Police Departments. This proposal is radical, reckless, and would have a dangerous impact on our state and region. I do not and will not support defunding or abolishing police departments.

On Thursday, the House voted on Democrats’ police reform legislation. While there are provisions in each of these bills that I support like the duty to intercede, banning chokeholds, and changes to arbitration so departments can fire officers who violate laws and training standards, there are other components that I do not support and think ultimately miss the mark.

One example is a provision to restore voting rights for felons. It’s unclear how this has anything to do with police reform.

It is disappointing that each of these bills contained "poison pills" that resulted in many legislators being unable to support the broader goal of improving police training. In the House, we can do meaningful work if members put partisanship aside and make informed, well-thought-out decisions. Sadly, these bills were hastily put together with final language not settled on until hours before session.

Here in Lakeville and Dakota County, we are lucky to have a professional law enforcement team that serves our community with dignity and respect. Local law enforcement in our area is engaged in our community and does an outstanding job keeping us safe.  Last fall, I was privileged to learn and experience firsthand, the work our law enforcement does each day and night through the Lakeville Police Citizens Academy training program. 

Unfortunately, much of the rhetoric and public discourse these days cast all law enforcement in a negative light. These sentiments do not reflect the majority opinion of folks in our area. The wide 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.

Congratulations Grads / Staying in Touch

Thank you to those who have reached out with questions or concerns regarding state government. Please continue to contact me to if I can be of any assistance to you or your family.  Additionally, if you are having a neighborhood gathering or party I would be happy to stop by and visit and offer congratulations to you as well.

Follow my Twitter or official Facebook for more frequent snapshots of our work.

koz sig

Jon Koznick
Assistant Minority Leader
State Representative, Lakeville, 58A