We've wrapped up the first half of session and boy were we busy. I've been hard at work for our community: from keeping our people safe to creating jobs in our community. I have highlighted a few of those key things in the video below and have a great Passover & Easter weekend with your families!
There may finally be a light at the end of the tunnel for MNLARS. The conference committee created early last week to resolve differences between the House & Senate MNLARS fixes came back with a solution that could work for all sides. The bill will use the agreed upon special fund to pay the immediate $10 million and a special MNLARS Steering Committee will be established to oversee the progress made to fix MNLARS. Any further disbursement would also be overseen by this steering committee.
Also included in the bill that passed both chambers last week and Governor Dayton signed, was a provision requiring a request for information to determine whether a private vendor is a better option. This is an important step since it has been made abundantly clear that the governmental bodies that initially developed this system failed badly.
It also requires the Governor’s administration to seek an extension from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for REAL ID. While the Governor had agreed to do this, we felt it was important to make clear this was something that must be done for Minnesotans.
The bottom line is that Minnesota taxpayers have paid nearly $100 million for a system that is only half built. Minnesotans deserve a DMV system that works, but we will not give a blank check to the governor and throw good money after bad. Our solution allows fixes to continue but sets up important oversight to ensure tax dollars are being spent wisely.
Police Protection Legislation
Last week, the House Public Safety Committee heard the Police Protection Legislation by Public Safety Chair Brian Johnson and myself. Chair Johnson’s bill (HF3610) would increase the penalty for assaulting a police officer and my bill (HF4082) bill would prevent police disarmament by local agencies.
As a former law enforcement officer, I know how they put their lives on the line every day in service to the public. Every day there are situations that go from non-threatening and escalate to life-threatening. For the safety of the officer and the public, the idea of local politicians disarming police is dangerous. My bill is about keeping our police officers and the public they serve safe.
My bill will prevent a mayor, city council, county board, or chief law enforcement officer from disarming a peace officer who is in good standing and not currently under investigation or subject to disciplinary action. As many of you know, I was shot in the line of duty while responding to a minor disturbance call. I authored this bill in response to calls from local politicians proposing to disarm police. Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria) is the author of the Senate companion to my bill.
Have a great Easter & Passover and God Bless!