Judiciary

PASSED

Both the Senate and House passed an omnibus bill, but those bills were vastly different and could not be reconciled in the conference committee process. See “Didn’t Pass” for more information on what was included in those bills as well as other priorities for Senate DFLers that didn’t pass.

DID NOT PASS

Senate Republicans opened the session with sweeping promises of support for law enforcement, increasing penalties and establishing mandatory minimums, and intervening on judicial decisions. Not only did these promises ignore what we know works in deterring crime, but Senate Republicans also failed to enact not only these proposals but any law that would improve public safety.

Senate Republicans are harkening back to ‘90s rhetoric with a “tough on crime” message, but they failed to pass any effective solutions to protect the public as they focused on obstructionism and scoring political points at the end of session.

Outside a few minor and largely technical bills, public safety issues remain on the table as Senate Republicans ignored the reality of how to ensure all Minnesotans feel safe in their communities. Senate Republicans say they support law enforcement, but their record – blocking gun violence prevention, refusing to support state prosecutors, and refusing to work with law enforcement – says otherwise.

Senate Republicans also ignored the Senate DFL proposal for public safety, which included data-driven, practice-proven investments in reducing crime today and preventing crime tomorrow.

Outstanding issues include:

  • Any funding to address recruitment and retention of law enforcement or community investments in public safety – Senate DFLers introduced over $500 million in public safety funding that would recruit and retain law enforcement, invest in our communities, and improve public safety. Senate Republicans refused to hear this bill in committee and voted against moving it forward on the floor.
  • Funding to improve the state’s civil legal services Funding and support for Minnesota’s community supervision programs
  • Full funding for the public defenders office – While the Senate and House originally agreed to fund this office with an additional $50 million, Senate Republicans reduced that amount by $10 million in their negotiations with the House on a final bill. No funding ended up passing.
  • Uniform billing of rape kits – This would ensure victims don’t receive the bill for their own rape kits. Senate Republicans were too busy playing partisan politics, so this important legislation never passed.
  • Death benefits for law enforcement officers who die by suicide – The families of officers who die by suicide as a result of PTSD contracted on the job aren’t guaranteed death benefits or acknowledgment that their family was killed in the line of duty. Senate Republicans voted against this important measure in committee, and it failed to become law when Senate Republicans dug in on their partisan politics instead of passing a public safety bill by the end of session.
  • Prohibition against retaliation – Senate DFLers were able to add a provision to the Judiciary Omnibus bill on the floor that would prohibit retaliation against law enforcement that report on their colleagues for excessive use of force, but the provision failed to pass when the omnibus bill didn’t get through conference committee.
  • Legalizing adult-use recreational cannabis – Senate Republicans have refused to give this bill a proper hearing and voted against moving the bill forward on the floor as well.
  • The CROWN Act – The CROWN Act – Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair – prohibits discrimination on the basis of hair appearance or texture. The House passed this bill and sent it to the Senate, but Senate Republicans used it as negotiating tool at the end of session instead of voting on it on its own merits, so the bill never became law. (SF 2673)
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