Police Reform Proposals May Be Considered in Special Session

June 8, 2020

In addition to taking up bonding and oversight of coronavirus relief funds, legislators are talking about considering police reform measures during a special session.

There are updates on this topic. Read the latest article.

In the wake of George Floyd’s tragic death at the hands of police officers, Minnesota legislators are talking about taking up police reform measures during a special session.

Although Gov. Tim Walz has not yet called a special session, he is expected to convene one on or around June 12. The police reform topic has been added to a list of unfinished legislative business, including passage of a bonding bill, oversight of federal coronavirus relief funds, housing assistance, and tax changes.

League is providing input

The House plans to consider a package of law enforcement reform bills proposed by the People of Color and Indigenous Caucus. The League is being consulted on proposals, which include making changes to the Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, the arbitration system, use-of-force policies, and body camera policies.

In anticipation of hearings that will likely be held by the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Division in the days leading up the special session, committee chair Rep. Carlos Mariani (DFL-St. Paul), plans to release a draft bill containing multiple reform provisions.

Senate plans to hold off

Although House leadership has indicated support for acting on these measures during a special session, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) told news media on June 5 that the Senate will vet ideas through a working group or committee process over the summer before taking action.

The League has mobilized an interdepartmental team to discuss proposed legislation, and this group is helping inform the legislation that may be considered.