The Minnesota Senate passed its omnibus public safety policy and supplemental budget bill Monday. Despite their claim that public safety is a top priority, Senate Republicans are spending more on tax breaks for wealthy Minnesotans than on efforts to prevent and reduce crime.
Before debate on the legislation, Senate Republicans voted down DFL efforts to move a $500 million public safety package that included $300 million to cities, counties, and tribes to address the unique public safety needs of their communities; a Juvenile Justice Act focused on prevention, intervention, and reducing barriers and building communities; and funding for community violence reduction, community investment grants, emergency community safety grants, local community policing grants, and more.
In response, Senate DFL Leader Melisa López Franzen (DFL-Edina) and Senator Ron Latz (DFL-St. Louis Park) issued the following statements.
“It’s clear that today’s legislation was about garnering headlines and political campaigning, not on proven solutions to prevent and reduce crime,” said Leader López Franzen. “Despite the claim that public safety is their top priority, Senate Republicans have chosen to ignore proven strategies that take a comprehensive approach to reduce crime. Instead of politicizing public safety – and disparaging criminal justice partners who they disagree with – Senate Republicans should join us in working together to ensure every Minnesotan feels safe in their community.”
“Community groups, members of law enforcement, and our criminal justice partners are asking for help from policymakers in taking real steps to reduce and prevent crime, but Senate Republicans have chosen politics over proven solutions,” said Senator Latz, ranking DFL member of the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee. “Today’s bill is a missed opportunity to put politics aside and put the needs of Minnesotans first, by taking a comprehensive approach to public safety. I hope we can work together with members in the House in the conference committee to improve this bill and to take real steps on public safety that help Minnesotans.”