The Senate Finance Committee heard this week the Senate Republicans’ judiciary and public safety omnibus bill.
While there are a number of strong provisions in the bill, including $50 million for public defenders and funding to recruit and retain law enforcement, the bill fails to meet the moment in responding to the uptick in crime we’re seeing across the state.
We know that the strongest deterrent to crime is the likelihood of being caught and that increased penalties have little effect in reducing crime. The Senate Republicans’ bill is chock full of knee-jerk responses that ignore data-driven, practice-proven ways to reduce crime.
The Senate Republicans’ bill is also incredibly short sighted, making little investments in programs we know will prevent crime in the future. Senate Republicans have chosen to spend most of the state’s surplus on a tax bill that helps wealthy Minnesotans, instead of investing in programs that prevent crime or in affordable housing, education, health care, or jobs – all of which we know help prevent crime.
While Senate DFLers secured increased funding for youth intervention programs and pathways to policing, this bill is a long way off from being an adequate response. It does nothing to reduce violent crime or make Minnesotans safe in their communities.
We will continue to fight for a bill that actually reduces the state’s uptick and crimes and makes the investments necessary to prevent crime moving forward. (SF 2673)