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

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Legislative Update from Rep. Brian Daniels

Friday, February 5, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

This week, the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Committee heard legislation that would create a $35 million fund to assist with law enforcement responsibilities in Minneapolis in anticipation of potential civil unrest when the trial for the officers in the George Floyd case begins in March.

We all want to make sure that we don't see a repeat of the chaos and riots from this past summer, but the reality is that $35 million is not going to magically solve the underlying problems that have fueled concerns about a lack of support from responding agencies because of anti-police sentiment and the Minneapolis City Council’s push to reduce the number of sworn officers.

In fact, the Minneapolis Police Department remains significantly understaffed. Right now, Minneapolis is authorized to have 888 officers, but the latest numbers from January show that the department is down to 770, with more than 150 officers on leave. Given this, a huge reason why Minneapolis may be ill-equipped during the upcoming trial is their refusal to responsibly fund and staff their police department. 

This bill would now put the rest of Minnesota on the hook for their bad decisions. 

Additionally, the bill puts the Commissioner of Public Safety in sole charge of deciding the how funds are allocated, leaving the legislature completely out of the picture, as has been a theme throughout the last year for the Walz administration.

We’ll see how this unfolds during the rest of session because we want to make sure law enforcement agencies have the resources they need to preserve law and order during the trials.

Legislation to Codify Mask Mandate

Democrats have introduced legislation that would officially codify Governor Walz’s mask mandate into law. The bill, House File 604, would require masks to be worn in a variety of settings including:

  • indoors at a business or public setting;
  • waiting outdoors to enter an indoor business or indoor public setting;
  • riding on public transportation, in a school vehicle, in a ride-sharing vehicle, or a vehicle being used for a business purpose;
  • outdoors when it is not possible to maintain social distancing from others who are not members of the individual's household; or
  • in a common area of a multi-unit dwelling.

Individuals and businesses that do not comply with the legislation would be subject to criminal penalties.

Thankfully, I expect this bill has little chance of becoming law thanks to the Republican majority in the Senate. I am opposed to a mask mandate and believe individuals should make decisions for themselves and their families without government coercion.

Low Income Energy Assistance Program 

As Minnesotans continue to feel the impact of COVID-19, I want you to know that there is still assistance available to income-eligible households (both owners and renters) for home heating bills and furnace repairs. The Energy Assistance Program can help by providing financial assistance:

  • To pay past due energy bills to avoid disconnection
  • To purchase fuel for delivery in emergencies
  • To repair or replace homeowners’ malfunctioning furnaces.

The application period is open until May 31st, 2021. Click here for more information and to apply: 

Staying in Touch

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me to share any thoughts or concerns you may have about state government or the job I'm doing as your representative. It would be great to talk with you. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-8237 or via email at

Have a great weekend,