Public Safety and Police Reform Update
The guilty verdicts in the concluded trial of former officer Chauvin gave us a sense of relief- and temporary justice for Mr. Floyd’s family. Although I am grateful for the jury’s verdict, justice is not served until there is accountability. The conviction sent a clear message to the world watching that we are holding Derek Chauvin accountable for his actions in taking George Floyd’s life.
This does not mean we are done with our work on police reform and accountability. We must build on this moment, build on the work we’ve started in creating a more inclusive and just Minnesota, one that is reflective of all of our neighbors. The Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform package we passed recently is especially timely and builds off the work we delivered last year. It would help us achieve safer communities by implementing the following, practical policies:
- Reforming the use of no-knock warrants;
- Prohibiting traffic enforcement stops in certain circumstances of minor violations;
- Strengthening civilian oversight of police departments;
- Creating a more robust Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board to regulate and train professional peace officers;
- Working toward ending police-only responses to mental health crisis calls; and
- Investing in community healing and support for families of those impacted by deadly force encounters with police.
To date, the Minnesota Senate has not held a single hearing to examine any potential policies that address deadly encounters Minnesotans have had with law enforcement. I encourage you to reach out to Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka at 651-296-4875 to urge him to prioritize public safety for all Minnesotans, no exceptions.
Budget Work in the House
In the House, we’ve passed our full budget off the floor. If you’re interested in learning about the contents within each budget area, you can learn more here:
I’m pleased to share my bill that would cap the interest rates on predatory payday loans has been included in the final Commerce/Energy budget bill. The overall budget is full of solid consumer protections and I’m proud to contribute.
Conference committee work is now underway. The House and Senate each appoint five members to review, vet, and reconcile differences within each chamber’s version of the bill. As the House Education Finance Chair, I’ll be serving as the chief negotiator on the House side to ensure our students are getting the resources they need, our public schools are fully funded, and all kids are respected and treated with dignity in the classroom. As I’m reviewing the full Senate education proposal, it’s concerning to see it chalked full of harmful policies, like voucher programs that steal resources from our public schools, and prohibiting trans kids for playing sports. Vast differences are evident, but I’m cautiously optimistic we can find common ground to deliver an education budget that reflects true Minnesota values. You can follow our conference committee work here.
Minnesota received encouraging news last week: The Minnesota Supreme Court returned the Polymet mining permit to the Department of Natural Resources. The decision reflects Minnesotans’ strong tradition and values of protecting our unique and nationally treasured Boundary Waters. Acid mine drainage has no place in our BWCA or Lake Superior. As the science shows us, we know copper sulfide mining carries a significant threat of water pollution, which can have devastating consequences. Minnesotans deserve transparency- and today’s decision provides a path forward in permanent protection for generations to come. Thank you to the advocates who won this victory today, the Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, and the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, and Water Legacy for their work.
Keep in Touch
Please contact me anytime at email@example.com or 651-296-0173 with questions or input. Don’t hesitate to let me know how I can be of assistance. Wishing you a nice weekend.