Senator Ron Latz (DFL-St. Louis Park), the ranking DFL Lead on the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee and a conferee on the conference committee for the Judiciary and Public Safety Budget releases the following statement:
“The Judiciary and Public Safety Conference Committee awaits Chairman Warren Limmer’s decision to call us to order, as the bill SF 970 originated in the Senate, making it that body’s chairman to call the first meeting. Because we will have much to discuss about police reform measures, and the Senate has had no hearings on most or all of the provisions in the House bill, we are not in a position to delay starting that discussion any further.
“Our time before the end of session is short and the task list is long. We do not need to wait for the side-by-sides to be ready, because it is already clear that most of the side-by-sides will show House proposals without Senate counterparts. There have also been other substantial proposals advanced by stakeholders and legislators that deserve analysis.
“Thus, we can and should start immediately to learn more about the proposals. I echo the recent calls to expeditiously advance these proposals independent of the ordinary conference committee schedule. There will be no legitimate excuse later that we did not have time to evaluate the House and other police reform proposals, if the delay has been caused by the failure to begin hearings immediately. We should do so now.”