Capitol Press Corps and Interested Parties,
On Thursday Rep. Brian Johnson, R-Cambridge, Republican Lead on the House Public Safety Committee, and House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, sent a letter highlighting the failures by House Democrats to meaningfully address the dramatic rise in crime and the hiring challenges facing police departments across Minnesota. You can read the full letter here.
Before the start of session, House Democrats highlighted proposals including stronger penalties for carjacking, house arrest for youth auto theft offenders, and grant programs aimed at recruiting police officers. While those proposals received significant media coverage, they were completely ignored by House Democrat Public Safety Chair Carlos Mariani, DFL-St. Paul.
The letter reads in part:
Early this legislative session, House Republicans unveiled a package of bills that will reverse the dramatic increase in crime by holding criminals responsible for their actions, helping recruit and retain peace officers, and providing transparency to prosecution’s charging decisions and the court’s sentencing decisions. These measures will make our communities safer. Unfortunately, the House Public Safety Committee chose not to hear these bills.
Instead, the DFL’s solution is to give money to violence-interrupters and grow the state government bureaucracy by tens of millions of dollars and dozens of new FTEs in an office building in St. Paul.
The letter also highlighted a series of DFL-backed proposals that failed to receive hearings that were brought forward as amendments by House Republicans but were voted down by House Democrats in committee last week as the Public Safety Omnibus was being finalized, including:
The letter makes clear that House Republicans remain willing to work collaboratively if Democrats are serious about addressing public safety concerns, stating:
There is still time before the legislative session ends for the House DFL to set aside wasteful spending that will not result in safer communities and instead pass a public safety omnibus that will bring down the crime rate in our state. We stand ready to work with you to pass real public safety solutions.
Please let me know if you're interested in speaking with Rep. Johnson or Leader Daudt on this topic.
Director of Public Affairs, Minnesota House Republican Caucus