This article was originally posted on
Special Legislative Session - Recap
The Minnesota Legislature went into a special session on June 12, 2020 with the hopes of passing some much needed legislation. The House DFL, and the POCI caucus in particular worked incredibly hard, day in, day out, to craft and pass legislation our state desperately needs. From repairing and renewing our aging infrastructure, to reforming our public safety system, progress and action was blocked. Even though the Senate Republicans decided to pack up and go home, I am committed to coming back for future special sessions to pass these critical bills. Here is what we were working on before this special session ended.
Minnesota Police Accountability Act of 2020
The House DFL recognizes that we need massive systemic reform if we are to ever have a public safety system that makes all Minnesotans safer. Our Republican colleagues refused to join us in calling for these changes and are unwilling to listen to our perspective. We have laid the groundwork and can envision the Minnesota that we need, and it is a fight we will continue, but this may be a problem that will have to wait until November to be solved. Here is the full list of reforms the House hoped to pass:
Reclaiming Community Oversight
Putting power into the hands of the people and neighborhoods that police officers are sworn to serve and protect.
- Retroactive Repeal of Statutes of Limitations (Vang)
- Warrior Training Prohibited (Richardson)
- Choke Hold Ban (Moran)
- Duty to Intercede (Becker-Finn)
- Police Residency Reform (Hassan)
- Data Collection and Regulatory Reform/etc. (Mariani)
- Arbitration Reform (Her)
- Law Enforcement Oversight Council Reform (Gomez)
Restoring confidence and trust in the systems that are meant to provide justice for all Minnesotans.
Re-Imagining Public Safety
- Use of Force Reform (Moran)
- Prosecutorial Reform (Becker-Finn)
- Investigatory Reform (Mariani)
- Cash Bail Reform (Noor)
Ending the unacceptable culture that is responsible for the murder of George Floyd and far too many others who look like him.
House DFL PROMISE ACT
- Public Safety Peer Counseling Debriefing (Noor)
- Police Officer Critical Incident Review (Kunesh-Podein)
- Community Led Public Safety (Gomez)
- Mental Health Training (Richardson)
- Autism Training (Richardson)
- Restore the Vote (Moran)
We also took advantage of the special session to introduce and pass PROMISE Act to provide immediate assistance in rebuilding neighborhoods that were hurt by the recent unrest in an equitable and community-led manner. We needed to take action and support these communities, unfortunately they will now undergo a very difficult time. You can watch our press conference on this legislation here. The legislation would:
Cares Act to Help Local Governments
- Create a special panel to review cases and provide direct compensation to impacted individuals.
- Partner with cities and community organizations to create economic relief programs for impacted businesses and organizations.
- Give local units of government flexibility and tools to prevent gentrification.
- Direct the Minnesota Department of Commerce to assist business owners, and require insurance companies to notify the department of any rejected claims.
- Help with the rising cost of leases for eligible residential and commercial properties.
- Eliminate the sales tax on the purchase of construction materials used to rebuild damaged or destroyed properties.
- Provide property and sales tax cuts for eligible properties.
- Establish a “Metropolitan Area Redevelopment Corporation” to create a long-term plan for equity-driven redevelopment and transformation.
We also passed legislation to deliver $841 million of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to Minnesota's counties, cities, and townships, and to make new investments in the people of Minnesota. Unfortunately this issue became divisive as well and we were unable to come to a final agreement.
The bill also includes critically needed investments in Minnesota and Minnesotans. These include the following:
Stay in Touch
- $21 million for increased compensation for personal care assistants (PCAs)
- One-time assistance for low-income families in the Minnesota Family Investment Program
- More than $38 million for continuity of service in Direct Care & Treatment programs
- Funding in for child care assistance necessary to bring Minnesota into federal compliance
- $18.5 million for overtime staffing for correctional officers
- Nearly $9 million to reimburse counties for federal funding that was rejected regarding care provided by counties at institutions for mental illness
- Nearly $29 million to help the Leech Lake and White Earth bands repay overpayments they received from the federal government under Medical Assistance (MA)
- $3.1 million to BCA to test and manage sexual assault examination kits, eliminate backlog
- $4.1 million for suicide prevention and housing assistance for veterans
Please feel free to reach out to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-296-3533. If you have a friend, neighbor, or relative who wants to receive updates about the Legislature, let them know they can subscribe to my email list here. You can also follow me on Facebook here. It’s an honor to represent our community. Please stay in touch.