Senator Ron Latz Leads Passage of Judiciary and Public Safety Legislation

Conference Committee Report funds victims’ services, supports corrections staffing, and access to justice system.

ST. PAUL, Minn. — On Wednesday, May 15, the Senate passed the Judiciary and Public Safety Budget bill, which builds on the historic investments of the 2023 session to reduce crime, support crime victims, ensure Minnesotans have fair access to the judicial system and their day in court, and support our corrections staff.

The bill contains $9.2 million in new spending to support crime victims’ services within the Office of Justice Programs, which works to protect victims’ rights, provides reimbursements for victims of violent crime, connects individuals with resources, and more. 

“This budget builds on our investments in our justice system, supports victims of crime, and invests in a stable and effective corrections workforce,” said Sen. Latz.“Minnesotans deserve to feel safe in their communities and have equitable access to our court systems and services. This bill continues to work to make a criminal justice system that is focused on prevention, reducing recidivism, and rehabilitating individuals to successfully return to our civil society. 

The legislation includes critical funding for the Department of Corrections to support compensation increases for corrections staff to stabilize their workforce. For years, the Department of Corrections has faced staffing crises, with forced overtime, lockdowns at facilities, lost programming, safety concerns, and more. Thanks to budget investments last year and this deficiency funding, the Department of Corrections can now offer competitive career pay, stabilize its workforce, and approach 97% staffing levels in facilities across Minnesota. 

The budget provides for additional funding to address court interpreter pay and rates, which had seen work stoppages earlier this year. It also addresses the rising costs and increasing need for services within the Psychological Services program and provides funding for Cyber Security improvements. Finally, it authorizes a Report on Preventing Violence Against Latina Women and Queer Latines in Minnesota

The Judiciary and Public Safety budget bill passed on a vote of 50-17 and will next be considered in conference committee with the House.

Senator Ron Latz
Ron Latz represents District 46, which includes portions of Hennepin County in the western Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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