Public Safety Bill Addresses and Ignites Civic Conflict

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The legislature adopted a public safety funding bill that includes dollars to expand law enforcement training to improve culturally-relevant crisis response and conflict management and assistance. Importantly, the training includes addressing implicit bias, a specification advocated by MCF and other groups. MCF is a member of the Governor's Council on Law Enforcement and Community Relations.  The bill does not include increased penalties for civil protests, though House leaders have indicated they will bring this issue back for a vote in 2018. However, a controversial provision blocking any efforts to issue state driver's licenses to undocumented individuals was included in the bill, as was a study to assess future use of a private prison in Appleton, MN. The full bill can be reviewed online along with a spreadsheet that details spending. The bill is pending final enactment through signature by Governor Dayton. Advocates are pressing for a gubernatorial veto due to the driver's license ban. However, Capitol insiders understand the ban to be a compromise agreed to by the administration to remove the protest penalties from the bill. Update 5/31/17:  Governor Dayton signed the bill into law.

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