Third time's a charm? Lawmakers headed back to Capitol to pass bonding bill, police reforms

Gov. Tim Walz has called a special session that starts Monday.
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Minnesota lawmakers are headed back to the state Capitol for their second special session of the summer. 

Gov. Tim Walz on Friday announced he'll convene a special legislative session that starts Monday, July 13, during which he hopes Democrats and Republicans can agree on police reform legislation and accountability, as well as passing a bonding bill that builds a more equitable economy. 

“I am asking Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature to work together on the urgent matters Minnesotans expect them to tackle this summer,” Gov. Walz said in a news release. “Our state had a trying few months, and we need the Legislature to rise to the occasion and get things done to help Minnesotans rebuild and recover. Give me a bill to sign on police accountability and reform and let’s work together to build a stronger, more equitable economy by investing in local jobs and projects across the state.”

The Minnesota legislature adjourned its regular session in mid-May, but because it failed to pass a bonding bill a special session was expected. By the time the governor called the special session, which began June 12, the goals for the special session had changed to include police reform legislation in the wake of the death of George Floyd while in custody of Minneapolis police.

That special session lasted about a week, with the Republican-controlled Senate adjourning before the Legislature passed any police reform measures because the House and Senate couldn't agree. The Legislature also failed to pass a bonding bill.

Walz says he supports the recommendations on police reform and accountability that were introduced by the Minnesota People of Color and Indigenous Caucus and the Attorney General’s Police-Involved Deadly Force Encounters Working Group, which include use-of-force reform, greater police oversight, community healing, and form for training, prosecution and investigations.

In the bonding bill, Walz said he'd like to see projects that revitalize infrastructure and create good-paying jobs, adding that he'd like to work with stakeholders to provide assistance for the businesses that were impacted by the riots in the Twin Cities. 

“We are ready to work with our partners in the legislature to make meaningful change for Minnesotans,” Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said in the release. “People across the state are counting on us to come together to invest in local projects, police accountability and reform, and a stronger, more equitable economy. Let’s get it done together.”

Walz will also extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by 30 days. 

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