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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Paul Novotny (R)

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Capitol Newsletter from Rep. Paul Novotny

Friday, February 05, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

This week, Democrats submitted a bill in committee that would create a $35 million State Aid for Emergencies (SAFE) Account in anticipation of the Chauvin trial that is set to begin in March. 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 men and women on the ground have the resources needed to respond to riots and unrest.  To be clear, we simply cannot allow a repeat of the failures by the governor and Mayor Frey that we saw last summer.

With that said, there are issues with the bill in its current form. By current Minnesota law, local jurisdictions, in this case Minneapolis, are responsible for the expense of outside agencies assisting during times of “imminent danger”.

Additionally, the scope of the bill was expanded to include response planning, after-action costs, and costs within the community as eligible for reimbursement. If the fund is intended to ensure sufficient law enforcement response, it must be limited to just that. 

The reality is that the actions by Minneapolis to reduce the size of their police department (currently 200 members short) have consequences that are going to put all Minnesota taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars in expenses. The long-term effects of these cuts will last for decades. Furthermore, law enforcement has stated this bill does not address the safety concerns and anti-police sentiment that Democrats have fostered in Minneapolis that make other agencies less likely to respond.  

Minneapolis needs strong leadership whether it be from the city council, mayor, or the Governor.

It is also important for community leaders to step up to the plate to help diffuse tensions to ensure further rioting does not occur.

Staying in Touch

Please be sure to reach out to me if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas on ways to improve state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4237 or via email at rep.paul.novotny@house.mn.

Have a great day,

Paul