Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Brian Daniels (R)

Back to profile

Legislative Update from Rep. Brian Daniels

Friday, February 21, 2020

Dear Neighbors,

In response to a rise in violent crime in the Twin Cities and across the state, House Republicans rolled out a package of proposals at the Capitol this week aimed at improving public safety in Minnesota communities.

Taken together, the bills target many of the issues driving crime in the Metro area and around the state, including gang and drug trafficking activity, as well as the need for additional officers and tools for law enforcement to combat crime on the Light Rail and in communities.

Minnesotans across the state deserve to feel safe when in our cities or using public transportation. While many news stories focus on crime in the Twin Cities, the reality is that we saw increases in drug trafficking this year across Minnesota. By working with law enforcement, our package of proposals will help make sure they have the tools and resources they need to keep our communities safe.

2019 saw an all-time high in serious crimes committed on Metro Transit Light Rail and the Star Tribune recently reported that two thirds of neighborhoods in Minneapolis saw an increase in overall crime in 2019—including a 70 percent spike in the Minneapolis Downtown East neighborhood. St. Paul saw a doubling in the homicide rate in 2019, much of it connected to gang violence. In addition, Minnesota’s Violence Crime Enforcement Teams saw major increases in the amounts of meth, heroin, and cocaine compared to 2018—much of it being trafficked by gangs and produced and smuggled into the United States by Mexican drug cartels. 

Our proposals include:

  • Requiring cities with regional or statewide sports and entertainment facilities to have adequate law enforcement, or risk losing Local Government Aid (LGA) from the state—helping ensure folks traveling to downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul is effectively protected.
  • Boosting penalties for gang members who use firearms in the commission of a crime. Currently, prosecutors are not pursuing gun charges against criminals who commit crimes using guns because the penalty level is not high enough.
  • A funding boost for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) for gang and drug trafficking efforts.
  • Increasing enforcement of fare evasion, increase sworn officers for Metro Transit police and install interactive cameras on light rail platforms.
  • Prohibiting cities from disarming police officers that are in good standing. As strange as it may sound, recent Minneapolis mayoral candidates floated the possibility of disarming police officers. Our proposal would prevent that from happening.

Rural Finance Authority 

In other news, on Wednesday, House Democrats unanimously voted against and blocked a proposal to allocate funds for a depleted loan program that aids farmers and communities in rural Minnesota.

The Rural Finance Authority (RFA) loan program will run out of funds today, Friday, according to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. House Republicans attempted to replenish those funds by $50 million to eliminate uncertainty for farmers and help them prepare for the upcoming growing season.

Minnesota farmers are counting on the legislature to act quickly to ensure they can access the low-cost financing provided by the RFA. Sadly, House Democrats have once again turned their backs on farmers and rural Minnesota with their vote to block this funding. Although we fell short on Wednesday, I am hopeful that this issue will be addressed soon. Farmers cannot afford to wait any longer.

RFA partners with agricultural lenders to provide low-cost financing to farmers on terms and conditions not otherwise available from other credit sources. The RFA portion of the loan is carried at a reduced interest rate to improve the cash flow of eligible farmers. RFA offer loans within the beginning farmer loan and seller-assisted program, agricultural improvement program, debt restructuring program, and livestock expansion programs. 

Farmers and other loan recipients have done an outstanding job paying off these loans.

Staying in Touch

Please be sure to reach out to me to share any thoughts, questions, or concerns you have related to state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-8237 or via email at

Have a great weekend,