MN Legislature passes $7.8M funding bill for Chauvin trial security costs

Gov. Tim Walz said he'll sign the bill.
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The Minnesota Senate and House have passed a $7.8 million bill to fund law enforcement costs related to Derek Chauvin's trial. 

The emergency funding bill will reimburse the Minnesota Department of Public Safety for costs associated with bringing State Troopers, Minnesota DNR conservation officers and out-of-state law enforcement into the Twin Cities for the trial.

At the request of Gov. Tim Walz, the Senate passed the measure (HF 729) Tuesday on a 52-15 vote and then sent it to the House, which passed the security funding reimbursement bill on a 107-25 vote.

The bill is now headed to Walz's desk. He said Tuesday afternoon that he'd sign it. 

After the civil unrest last summer that destroyed hundreds of buildings following George Floyd's death, additional law enforcement officers were brought in and stationed around the Twin Cities in an effort to quell any violence during Chauvin's trial. 

A jury last week found Chauvin guilty of murdering Floyd, and demonstrations and rallies following the verdict were peaceful.

Last week, a $9 million funding package passed the GOP-controlled Senate but didn't go anywhere in the DFL-controlled House, the Star Tribune reports. Walz's administration requested a smaller package from the Legislature, which is what got approved in both chambers on Tuesday. 

Democrats in both chambers have been hesitant to pass additional public safety funding without getting assurance from Senate Republicans that it would consider police reform measures. 

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka came under fire for canceling fact-finding hearings on police accountability measures and instead consider the measures in conference committees. Conference committees are a less transparent process in which legislators meet to hammer out the differences in large omnibus bills — a tactic that has become commonplace in Minnesota's legislature.

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