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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dean Urdahl (R)

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Rep. Urdahl urges DFL support for school resources officer law fix

Monday, September 11, 2023


ST. PAUL – With 44 Democrat lawmakers declaring they do not support a fix to law that has left dozens of schools without school resources officers, state Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, is urging those Democrats who remain undecided to join Republicans in asking Gov. Tim Walz to call a special session and work together on a solution.

Urdahl said new state law changes what SROs are allowed to do to de-escalate aggressive or violent situations, taking away tools they can use to keep students and teachers safe. In response, over 40 law enforcement agencies have pulled SROs from schools across Minnesota.

“This serious issue isn’t going to go away until the Legislature acts to fix the problem in state law that was created earlier this year,” Urdahl said. “We owe it to our children, teachers and staff to get together and put a common-sense solution in place as soon as possible. House Republicans are asking our DFL colleagues to join us in supporting a special session so we can do what the overwhelming majority if Minnesotans want by fixing this potentially dangerous problem.”

House and Senate Republicans have urged Walz to call a special session to clarify the SRO language that is now in law. In response, 44 Democrat lawmakers stated they do not support a special session, preferring to leave the law alone.

Urdahl said political games should not be played with student and teacher safety, and urged Democrats to do the right thing and join Republicans in addressing law enforcement’s concerns with the new law and brining SROs back to the schools that have lost them.

“This is one of those issues where we can’t afford to play politics,” Urdahl said. “I shudder to think about even one student or teacher being harmed in a school that lost its SRO because of this change in state law. Let’s not allow this needless risk to go on any longer. Let’s have a special session as soon as possible so we can fix this issue in state law.”