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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Michael Nelson (DFL)

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Public Safety for ALL Minnesotans

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Rep. Nelson

Neighbors, 

It has been a busy week for Minnesota, both in the national and global news, and in our efforts at the Minnesota Legislature. Not far from our community, we saw another tragic killing of a Black man by law enforcement when Daunte Wright was shot in Brooklyn Center, and earlier this week former officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty for the murder of George Floyd. 

In finding former officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all three counts, the jury has helped move us toward justice in this instance, but there is more left to do to ensure all Minnesotans have access to the dignity and safety they deserve.  

As a community, we need to continue to call out racism in our systems, and as a legislator, I will continue to fight for public safety reforms and equity measures that protect and lift up everyone in our community, no matter what they look like or where they are from.

Unless and until Black lives matter, no lives matter.

 


 

Public Safety for ALL Minnesotans

Last night, we passed our proposal for the Public Safety, Judiciary, and Civil Law Budget off the House floor, which contains many of the meaningful reforms that we’ve been fighting for since the murder of George Floyd. The measures we passed last summer were incredibly important, but they were always meant to be the first of many steps. This proposal contains the following: 

  • Allowing local governments to establish civilian oversight councils  

  • Enhancing training and requiring the development of new model policies  

  • Supporting community organizations working to prevent crime  

  • Issuing body cameras and prohibiting altering, destroying, or withholding the footage  

  • Prohibiting white supremacists from become police officers  

  • Limiting the use of no-knock warrants  

  • Strengthening the police officer misconduct database and building a more effective early warning system to identify bad officers and keep them off the streets 

  • Limiting police officers’ authority to stop or detain drivers for certain violations 

Justice Graphic


 

State Government, and Other Budgets

In addition to the Public Safety, Judiciary, and Civil Law Budget, we’ve also passed several other important components of the House DFL Budget proposal, including the following:

As chair of the House State Government Finance and Elections Committee, the bulk of my work was focused on crafting that budget bill. As our state addresses and recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the investments in this bill facilitate the responsive state government Minnesotans deserve. Minnesotans hold elections in high regard, as seen by our consistent leadership in voter turnout. Following a safe, transparent, and secure election in 2020, our proposal strives to engage even more Minnesotans in the right to have their voices heard when exercising their civic duty.

State Gov

In addition to funding our state government offices and agencies, among the policy proposals in the bill are measures to restore the voting rights for ex-offenders, and automatic voter registration. The bill also allows the Attorney General’s office greater ability to prosecute and prevent voter intimidation. Outside of elections, the legislation provides a process for state government agencies to produce Racial Equity Impact Notes on proposed legislation, and establishes a Racial Equity Impact Assessment Working Group to study and make recommendations on the content of these notes and the process for creating them.

 


 

Rental Assistance

For renters that continue to struggle during these challenging economic times, new funds are now available to provide assistance. RentHelpMN has opened for applications, making it possible for low- and moderate-income renters to get caught up on overdue rent and utilities dating back to March 13, 2020. It also makes provisions for those at risk of falling behind on rent payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rental Assistance

You can find more information at https://www.renthelpmn.org/

 


 

Stay Connected

Once we pass the rest of our budget proposals off the House floor, we’ll begin the next and final phase of the legislative session, which consists of negotiating with the Republican-controlled Senate to find consensus on these budget bills. If you have any questions on the bills we’ve passed and the work ahead, please feel free to contact me. The best way to contact my office is through email (rep.michael.nelson@house.mn) or phone (651-296-3751). I appreciate hearing from you. 

Sincerely,  

 

Rep. Michael V. Nelson

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