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Legislative Update from Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

Last week, House Democrats and Governor Walz began their push to enact the SAFE Account—a $35 million proposal in anticipation of Minneapolis likely needing mutual aid support from other law enforcement agencies to deter violence and rioting during the Derek Chauvin trial set to begin next month. Former officer Chauvin is on trial for his role in the death of George Floyd.

As a strong supporter of law enforcement, I want to make sure that the brave men and women in uniform have the resources they need to respond to riots and unrest. Simply put, we cannot allow a repeat of the failures by Governor Walz and Mayor Frey that we saw last summer. 

The sad reality is that the actions by Minneapolis to reduce the size (currently 200 officers below their authorized count) and defund their police department have real-world consequences that are going to put Minnesota taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars in expenses.

Additionally, a coalition of law enforcement associations wrote this to the committee:

"Our members remain concerned, however, that no matter what legislation is passed, the response for mutual aid will not be as robust as the public may expect. Our members’ concern is due to the continued demonization of law enforcement officers by certain public officials at various levels of government."

The environment that has been fostered by Democrats’ demonization of law enforcement has made it less likely that agencies will respond to requests for mutual aid.

The bill also has some poison pill provisions included by Democrats that would give unilateral control to the Walz Administration’s public safety commissioner to disburse the funds as he sees fit. 

I’ll keep you posted on this as it moves through the legislative process. In the meantime, Minneapolis needs strong leadership whether it be from the city council, mayor, or the Governor.

Staying in Touch

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me to share your thoughts, questions, and concerns as it relates to state government. I can be reached at 651-296-4229 or via email at rep.glenn.gruenhagen@house.mn.

Have a great day,

Glenn

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