Minnesota Republicans wary of including police reforms in public safety omnibus

With Minnesota’s legislative session scheduled to wrap up in the next few weeks, state House and Senate members on Monday, May 3 convened for its first meeting. The bipartisan group of state representatives and senators will hammer out a compromise between the Republican-controlled Senate and Democratic-controlled House, to hopefully be signed by Democratic Gov. Tim Walz.

Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, chairs the Senate’s Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy committee and the bipartisan conference committee. At Monday’s hearing, he said Senate Republicans are aiming to keep the public safety omnibus’s focus “narrow,” only including spending measures and not policy proposals, like police reforms.

“It doesn’t mean we’re opposed to things. It’s just that we don’t believe in including that into a funding bill,” he said.

He went on to say that budget bills are likely to be passed on the floor, with lawmakers constitutionally required to pass the state budget every two years, so “it’s very tempting for legislators to add their initiatives onto a bill that they know will pass.”

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