After providing only late Sunday night notice to the public, Senate Republicans took up Senate File 1354 early Monday morning on the Senate floor. SF 1354 began as a proposal from Minnesota Governor Walz to provide state aid to local governments when a public safety event occurs that is of regional or statewide significance. Discussions about this proposal have been ongoing during the legislative session.
After voting no on the bill, Senator Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis) released the following statement:
“Senate Republicans continue their relentless efforts to demonize and attack the people of Minneapolis today on the Senate floor. Minneapolis is full of hardworking people — entrepreneurs, businesses owned by people of color and indigenous Minnesotans, and immigrant owned businesses that have suffered greatly and need help. All of them contribute much to our community and state. That is why Minneapolis is the economic engine for all of Minnesota sending 3.5 times more in tax revenues than it receives, and generously contributing, without hesitation, to disaster relief and other needs across the state. Minneapolitans, like Minnesotans all across our state, believe in taking care of one another in difficult times.
“Under the cover of darkness, Senate Republicans announced that they would be bringing this bill forward. Tacked onto the bill is an unrelated restriction on the use of disaster relief funds to repair damage from civil unrest. Senate Republicans argue that Minneapolis is undeserving of a ‘bailout’ because the damage is Minneapolis residents’ own fault, when the public record shows that it was people came from across the state and the country who created the vast majority of the destruction, including many from white supremacist groups. SF 1354 delays enactment of hard won reforms to police use of force, another measure totally unrelated to the rest of the bill. This small victory in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder is now being undermined by Republicans.
“This legislation moves us backward. Groups representing Minnesota cities and counties are opposed. It is divisive, mean-spirited, and damaging, — coming on the first day of Officer Derek Chauvin’s murder trial with the whole world watching. We can do better.”