Minnesota Legislature struggles for compromise on policing

Minnesota Legislature struggles for compromise on policing

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KEYC) — A tense beginning to talks over proposed police reform at the Capitol on Monday.

The DFL-controlled House included several policing provisions in its public safety budget bill for the 2021 session, hoping to build on a package that the Legislature approved last summer.

But the Republican-controlled Senate included no police accountability measures in its budget bill and has already rejected several House proposals.

One issue is blocking police officers from having ties to white supremacist groups.

Rep. Cedrick Frazier (DFL-New Hope) asked the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee why Republican senators voted down language to that effect.

”Our DFL Senate colleagues introduced language that would try and prevent White Supremacy in law enforcement, and you all voted that down you rejected that language and this is another question I get, can you explain why?”

“Thank you, Rep. Frazier. The way the amendment was written we had a question whether there was a constitutional issue in that particular proposal,” Chairwoman Warren Limmer said.

This was the first of at least six meetings this week when the Senate will try and reconcile its 79-page bill with the House’s 354-page bill.

Both sides are predicting tense negotiations.

The next conference committee meeting on police reform is at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

The end of the legislative session is May 17.

Copyright 2021 KEYC. All rights reserved.