House, Senate disagree on policing bills with time running out in Special Session

House leaders say the Senate's bills don't do enough to enact systemic change.
Author:
Publish date:

The two chambers of the Minnesota Legislature are considering largely different bills on policing in the wake of George Floyd's killing, which doesn't bode well for bills getting passed by the end of the Special Session seeing as the Senate says it will end on Friday

The Special Session was initially intended to deal with issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the focus shifted to sweeping policing changes in Minnesota after the May 25 death of Floyd.

"So far, we're still in gridlock. So far, we've had the entire week to move things. But now is the time," Gov. Tim Walz said during a news conference Thursday, urging Senate Republican leaders to work with House Democrats on police reform bills

The Senate approved five bills this week related to police reform, including a ban on most chokeholds, a requirement for law enforcement to report use-of-force data to the state and requiring a duty to intervene and report for officers on the scene of an excessive force incident. 

But the legislation, which still needs to be passed by the Democratic-controlled House before it becomes law, has been criticized for not doing enough to enact real change and because Senate Republicans didn't work with senators of color in coming up with the legislation.

In a news release from House Democrats on Wednesday, House Speaker Melissa Hortman said: "Not a single item in the Senate proposals addresses the problem of a lack of accountability for police.

"The House proposals, shaped by working with members of our communities, would take the first steps in making systemic change that will lead to accountability.”

The House is slated to take up its police reform legislation Thursday night. According to Session Daily, the Democratic-controlled chamber has three main public safety and law enforcement accountability bills amended onto Senate files to include the House language. 

Among the legislation the House is looking to pass include provisions that would require police officers to intercede with another officer is using excessive force and report the incident to supervisors; establish law enforcement citizen oversight councils and police officer residency requirements; ban chokeholds and prohibit "warrior-style training"; increase training and transparency for police officers, and clarify when police can use deadly force.

The proposals go a step further and aim to address systemic issues beyond just policing. Those provisions, if passed, would restore voting rights to convicted felons when they're released from prison regardless of supervision status, and eliminate the need for cash bail for most misdemeanor offenses. 

Next Up

PD Shimmers 4

Annual guide to finding holiday lights displays in MN is released

More than 80 holiday displays are on this year's list.

duluth police department

Duluth police officer charged in September shooting

The officer, who is a five-year veteran, is charged with two felonies.

Screen Shot 2020-11-30 at 1.31.42 PM

Enbridge gets final approval to start construction on Line 3 replacement

The project has attracted criticism from environmental and tribal groups.

Kirk Cousins

Is it a 4-team race for the final NFC playoff spot?

The key for Minnesota likely requires winning on the road against two top NFC teams.

coronavirus

Nov. 30 COVID-19 update: Hospitalizations reach new high mark

There are fewer than 100 staffed ICU beds available in Minnesota.

TCF Bank Stadium

Saturday's Gophers-Northwestern game canceled

Minnesota is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak in its football program.

frances mosley vandals

Minneapolis woman's home vandalized for a 7th time since March

The most recent incident happened on Thanksgiving.

Grand Cafe

Jamie Malone's Grand Cafe is closing, building owners say

Head chef Jamie Malone will continue operations at Eastside.

softball

High school softball coach accused of stealing booster funds

The 65-year-old is a coach at Lakeville South High School.

Related

flickr-mn-capitol-building-nov-2018

MN Senate ends special session with no deal on police reform

Lawmakers failed to agree on other critical legislation as well.

united-states-capitol-1675540_1920

Walz announces new special session to pass police reform, bonding

Gov. Tim Walz has called a special session that starts Monday.

State Capitol

Minnesota Legislature likely headed to a special session – again

They failed to pass a bonding bill, other important measures.

Minnesota_State_Capitol_night

MN Legislature passes police accountability package in late-night vote

The bill passed the House and Senate in the early hours of Tuesday.

MN lawmakers pass budget in overnight special session

The House and the Senate had to burn the midnight oil to hammer out the $48 billion spending bill.

flickr-mn-capitol-building-nov-2018

Lawmakers, governor agree to 1-day special session Friday

But can they actually get everything done in that short of a time?