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Rep. Mariani and Rep. Frazier statements on Senate hearing on violent crime

Thursday, October 21, 2021

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Rep. Carlos Mariani (DFL – Saint Paul), chair of the House Public Safety Committee, released the following statement regarding today’s joint Senate hearing of the Public Safety and Transportation Committees on violent crime, during which public testimony exclusively featured members of law enforcement:

“Every year I’ve chaired this committee, I’ve proposed a budget that provides millions of dollars of funding for local police and victims services while my Senate counterpart has cut state funding for law enforcement. If Senator Limmer wants to support law enforcement and victims, then he should propose funding for those and not just offer platitudes to the people of Minnesota. Every year, he publicly complains about his inability to properly fund public safety because of the lack of prioritization given to this issue area by Republican Senate leadership. It is increasingly clear that GOP Senators care more about rich people’s taxes than regular people’s safety. They only seem to care about public safety solutions when they can be used to score political points. Yet, Senator Limmer is one of the longest-serving Public Safety Chairs in Minnesota Senate history and seems to take no responsibility for the current state of crime.”

Rep. Cedrick Frazier (DFL – New Hope), vice chair of the committee, released the following statement:

“This hearing was a farce as it did not hear from victims of crime or community members impacted by crime, but only law enforcement. Law enforcement is an important voice, but shouldn’t be the only voice. Like past hearings on this topic, it’s clear the Senate does not want to hear from the voices of women, BIPOC community members, and other experts about how they would like to solve public safety problems in our communities. Last year House DFLers brought forward millions of dollars of permanent crime prevention funding – of the type Chief Anderson of the St. Cloud Police Department recommended we appropriate today – which the Senate refused to consider. As Sheriff Fletcher stated, individuals who commit crime aren’t created overnight and as Chief Anderson said, we can’t arrest our way out of this problem. It’s important we don’t minimize these observations from law enforcement and work collectively to help curb crime. We hope the Senate was listening and is prepared to make the necessary investments and reforms Minnesotans expect, instead of simply spitefully targeting the Twin Cities.”