House police reform bill passes, more far-reaching that Senate version

Special session may end today, and Walz may call lawmakers back again

WCCO Radio Newsroom
June 19, 2020 - 6:09 am
Minnesota House display over speaker's desk

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Minnesota lawmakers appear headed for another collision course that could derail a special session that started as a call to finish work on a bonding bill but quickly expanded to include police and justice reform.

The House of Representatives early Friday passed the Police Accountability Act, which was authored by members of the People of Color and Indigenous Caucus (POCI). 

“It wasn’t just one bad apple that killed George Floyd, or any of the other black men killed by police officers,” said Rep. Carlos Mariani (DFL-St. Paul). “The legislation will reimagine public safety in a community-centered way to strengthen trust, deliver justice, and respect human rights.”

The proposal calls for reclaiming community oversight, reforming accountability, and re-imagining public safety.

“Minnesotans expect and deserve action on racial justice and police accountability legislation,” said House DFL Leader Ryan Winkler. “The eyes of the world are on Minnesota, and we have to meet this moment.” 

This comes after the Republican-led Minnesota state Senate passed its own police reform bill, which is more modest in its scope.

Senate leaders are promising the end the special session on Friday after one week.

Governor Walz called the special session to get lawmakers to finish work on a bonding bill that would fund major construction projects around the state. That was not accomplished.

Lawmakers also did not complete a tax bill.

All that likely means the governor will call another special session later this year.

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