These last few weeks have been hectic for Minnesota. We have been in national and global news for all the wrong reasons with the killing of Daunte Wright, and just miles away the Chauvin trial was taking place. The guilty verdict in the trial is only the first step on the way to justice. While more will be decided in the courts, many of the next steps for true, meaningful change can be taken by us. We must continue to call out systemic racism when we see it, and not stop until all Minnesotans feel safe in our communities – no matter what they look like or where they live.
In the Minnesota House, we put forward strong, common-sense reforms last summer in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, and while some were passed into law, we’re continuing to fight for public safety reforms to hold bad actors accountable and build a better system where Black lives matter.
Today we hear our final budget proposal, the Health and Human Services bill. Here’s an update on our work.
Public Safety for ALL Minnesotans
Late Thursday night, we finished a lengthy debate on our Public Safety, Judiciary, and Civil Law Budget, which contains many of the sorely-needed reforms and measures being championed by our communities of color. I am proud to support the measures in this bill, including:
- 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
Despite efforts from DFL Senators and encouragement from the House DFL Caucus, the Senate majority has refused to hold a single hearing on police accountability measures this session. It’s safe to say the proposals we passed in the House face an uphill battle in negotiations with the Senate, but we can’t give up on an issue this important just because others are blocking the path to change.