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

Monday, September 11, 2023


ST. PAUL – With 44 Democrat lawmakers declaring that they do not support a fix to law that has left dozens of schools without school resources officers, state Rep. Matt Bliss, R-Pennington, 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.

Bliss 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.

“It is a shame the House majority has allowed anti-police rhetoric and radical views to undermine safety in our schools,” Bliss said. “We can’t let the DFL extremists who ignore this problem stand in the way of fixing the problem they created by taking away tools SROs have to de-escalate potentially dangerous situations. We just need a handful of Democrats to join the 64 Republicans who support fixing this law and I encourage them to work with us on a bipartisan, common-sense solution.”

House and Senate Republicans have urged Governor 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.

Bliss 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.

“If our lawmakers do nothing else, they have a responsibility to uphold the safety of Minnesotans and the people who visit our state,” Bliss said. “Democrats are failing miserably in this regard by playing politics with an issue as basic and essential as safety in our schools. I call on the governor and my DFL colleagues to do the right thing and join Republicans to deliver a common-sense solution that most Minnesotans support.”