Skip to main content

Gov. Tim Walz calls out GOP lawmakers amid efforts to limit police changes

The governor took the unusual step of encouraging Minnesotans to call GOP senators.

Gov. Tim Walz has taken the unusual step of personally calling out Republican lawmakers on Twitter, amid efforts by Democrats to pass major changes to policing across the state in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

At the start of the Legislature's Special Session on Friday, Senate Republicans revealed their intentions for the session, and while they have said that some of the policies proposed by the DFL could pass – including a statewide ban on the use of chokeholds by police – they are opposed to several others.

This includes the DFL proposal that all officer-involved shooting prosecutions should be handled by the Minnesota Attorney General, currently Keith Ellison, amid criticism at past decisions made by county attorneys, among them Hennepin County's Mike Freeman.

They also strongly oppose DFL efforts to restore voting rights to those convicted of a crime but who aren't serving their sentence in custody. And efforts to eliminate binding arbitration – which has seen police officers restored to the force despite misconduct – are complicated because the GOP is proposing it be made the case for all public employees, not just police, which some DFL-leaning public employee unions oppose.

Another sticking point is the length of the Special Session, with DFL House Majority Leader Melissa Hortman suggesting that it should be a lengthy one to tackle what is a complex issue, while GOP Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka wants it wrapped up within a week.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

It's against this backdrop that Walz started calling out Republicans on Twitter Friday, including posting a link to an Associated Press article detailing the GOP plans to limit policing change with the comment: "The world is watching."

He also encourages Minnesotans to "call your GOP State Senators" about policing, posting the Legislative phone numbers and email addresses of some Republican leaders.

These included Gazelka, Minnesota Senate Assistant Majority Leader Sen. Karin Housley – who in an aside has been critical of the Walz Administration's response to the COVID-19 crisis as it pertains to long-term care – and Senate Public Safety chair Sen. Warren Limmer.

Meanwhile, Republicans have stated their priority this Special Session was ending the Emergency Powers conferred to Gov. Tim Walz to handle the COVID-19 crisis, and while a vote to end the peacetime emergency passed the Senate on Friday, it failed in the House.

Next Up

2019_0914_Packers_Away_0419

What happens to the Vikings if Aaron Rodgers leaves the NFC North?

Rodgers said he isn't interested in rebuilding in Green Bay, is it time for the Vikings to pounce or stay the course?

ambulance

Sheriff: Men found unresponsive in garage died of cocaine overdose

Two of the three men found unresponsive in an Eyota garage last week died of a drug overdose, a preliminary autopsy found.

Anthony Edwards

Ant's injury clouds Timberwolves' victory over the Nets

The Timberwolves star was injured in the final minutes on Sunday night.

Akoya Lee

Byron native Ayoka Lee sets NCAA record for points in a game

The Kansas State forward broke a record shared by former Gopher Rachel Banham.

cold, wind chill, freezing

It's going to be stupid cold again Tuesday and Wednesday

They'll almost certainly be the 10th and 11th days with subzero temps this month.

Williams Uptown Pub

Williams Uptown Pub & Peanut Bar closes indefinitely after shooting

Reports say police have arrested two suspects in the incident.

Alex Rodríguez

A-Rod wears a Packers hat, Minnesotans lose their minds

The Timberwolves co-owner didn't endear himself to his fan base on Saturday night.

Flickr - Minneapolis police squad - Chad Davis

Police: Man shoots into crowd at funeral reception in Minneapolis

The shooting happened at a reception following a funeral on Saturday afternoon.

Related

Governor Tim Walz

Watch live: Gov. Tim Walz gives afternoon press conference

The governor is expected to address the George Floyd killing.

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Walz to talk police reform at afternoon press conference

The governor will give his latest address at 3 p.m.

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Walz set to make Stay at Home announcement on Wednesday

The governor has to decide whether the Stay at Home order will be extended, possibly through the end of May.

Governor Tim Walz

Coronavirus: Gov. Tim Walz to hold press conference on Friday

The governor will provide an update on Minnesota's response to the coronavirus.

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz's approval rating has grown during coronavirus crisis

The latest results from the Star Tribune/KARE 11/MPR News poll have been released.