Rep. Kelly Moller (DFL-Shoreview) says the omnibus public safety finance bill will make “transformational changes” in all corners of the criminal justice system.
The bill sponsor said it would make dozens of policy changes instituting innovative approaches to criminal justice reform, including increasing crime prevention efforts, helping offenders reintegrate into society after release from prison, and giving more opportunities for people with criminal records to seek redemption.
Those policy changes and programs would be funded by the $2.2 billion appropriated by the bill for the 2024-25 biennium, with most of the dollars going to the Department of Corrections at $1.58 billion and the Department of Public Safety at $574.7 million.
The House Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee, after adopting three amendments to the delete-all amendment to HF2890, approved the bill on a split-voice vote Thursday, and sent it to the House Ways and Means Committee.
The committee first considered the omnibus public safety finance bill Tuesday, when it heard testimony from nearly two-dozen people. Thursday’s meeting focused on member discussion of the bill and debating the 18 amendments submitted to the committee.
Republicans oppose gun control, no-knock warrant provisions
Rep. Paul Novotny (R-Elk River), the committee’s Republican lead, unsuccessfully offered two amendments focusing on high-profile provisions in the bill.
One would have removed provisions on “red-flag” protection orders, that would allow family members and others to petition a court to have firearms removed from a person found to pose a significant danger to themselves or others, and instituting universal background checks on handgun sales.
Novotny said each deserves to be considered in a standalone bill.
The second Novotny amendment focused on no-knock warrants. The bill would ban those, but it would also make changes to how knock-and-announce warrants could be served, mandating that officers wait “a reasonable amount of time” before entering after knocking.
The amendment would have made officers wait for 10 seconds after knocking and announcing.
Novotny said the “reasonable amount of time” requirement was too vague and would not give enough guidance to the courts to interpret the law.