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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Greg Davids (R)

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Thursday, March 23, 2023

ST. PAUL – House and Senate Republicans recently unveiled a comprehensive public safety plan Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston, said would help officers do their jobs, ensure state laws are enforced, and hold criminals accountable. 

The package is called the Safe & Sound Minnesota plan and it features 17 different bills from 15 different Republican authors across the state. Together, they aim to confront the threat of violent and repeat criminals, strengthen police and improve training for law enforcement, and hold judges and prosecutors accountable with public data and information.  

“Minnesotans are concerned about public safety in light of the drastic rise in violent crime this state has been experiencing,” Davids said. “If our state has one job, it’s to keep its people safe and, clearly, it is failing in that regard. We have identified aspects that need improving and responded with common-sense solutions that send a message we are serious about restoring law and order in our state.”

The Safe & Sound Minnesota plan would add a new crime of carjacking to state statute, increase penalties for fleeing police in a motor vehicle, align fentanyl to the same weight thresholds and penalties as heroin, and increase sentences for those convicted with at least two prior crimes of violence.

To address crimes of gun violence, the package specifically increases the penalty for transferring a firearm to an ineligible person and requires a court to ensure someone who has been ordered to give up their firearms has indeed done so.

The package also provides $1 million for Pathway to Policing, the award-winning program that brings new recruits into public safety from other careers. It also features $5 million for college scholarships and technology to help law enforcement students prepare for their role, and $15 million for bodycams for law enforcement departments. A request of $168 million for police and first responder pension funds also is fulfilled.

“I am proud to stand up and support our law enforcement officers and will continue working alongside them to help make our streets safer,” Davids said. “Our officers do tremendous work and we need to make sure they have the resources necessary to protect Minnesotans and their families.”

The Safe & Sound Minnesota plan also puts in place transparency and accountability measures for the state’s courts. New data reporting would help legislators and the public understand how many felony-level offenses go uncharged, as well as a database by the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission for the public to conduct research about judges and their decisions to follow criminal sentences created by the legislature. 

To address concerns that violent, repeat offenders are too often released, there is a new mandatory minimum sentence for dangerous criminals who commit crimes with a firearm. Finally, the plan would also make who posts bail payments public data. Recent scrutiny on non-profits bailing out violent criminals shows Minnesotans are at risk when these non-profits aren’t held accountable for their decisions.