Senate Republicans forced legislation through the Judiciary Committee this week that would limit the ability of communities to respond to disasters, a transparently political response to the unprecedented civil unrest in communities following the murder of George Floyd.
While state disaster aid currently covers any fire, flood, or explosion, this bill attempts to exempt aid from communities that suffered significant damage from civil unrest. As the bill is currently written, it would even exempt cities from receiving aid if they were victims of terrorist attacks or widespread arson. At a time when many workers and small businesses are suffering from the economic consequences of COVID-19 on top of the significant damage from this unrest, this bill would only cause more harm and misfortune. No matter where you live in Minnesota, the state has a responsibility to your community, especially in times of need.
Despite being in the majority, Senate Republicans have held no hearings to truly investigate the reasons for the civil unrest this summer or to provide assistance for the communities that were hit by it. They have not held hearings on any pandemic response, or on community demands for criminal justice reform. Instead of addressing the urgent needs of Minnesotans, Republicans have proposed bills that seek to score political points while ignoring the continued suffering facing tens of thousands of Minnesotans.
Senate DFLers are committed to addressing the demands we hear every day for transformative changes in our criminal justice system. We are committed to do everything in our power to help our state recover not only from the civil unrest of this summer but from the pandemic. (SF 7)