This week, Democrats heard a bill in committee that would provide $35 million to Minneapolis in anticipation of the former officer Chauvin trial that is set to begin in March. Former officer Chauvin is being tried for his involvement in the death of George Floyd.
Anyone that knows me understands that I am a strong supporter of law enforcement and want to make sure that authorities have the resources needed to respond to riots and unrest. However, I have issues with this bill in its current form.
For instance, the bill puts the Commissioner of Public Safety in sole charge of deciding the reimbursement process, leaving the legislature completely out of the picture, as has been a theme throughout the last year for the Walz administration.
Part of the reason Minneapolis needs assistance from other agencies is their refusal to adequately staff and fund their police department. Currently, Minneapolis is 200 officers below their authorized count, and the city council is pushing for further funding cuts despite the Minneapolis Police Chief asking for major staffing increases.
We simply cannot allow a repeat of the failures by Governor Walz and Mayor Frey that we saw last summer. The reality is that the actions by Minneapolis to reduce the size and defund their police department have consequences that are going to put Minnesota taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars in expenses.
California Cars Mandate Update
I’ve previously mentioned the governor is using the administrative rulemaking process to mandate California’s auto-emission standards on vehicles sold in Minnesota. This will have dramatic consequences for Minnesotans if it comes to fruition.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has scheduled a few public information sessions to discuss the governor’s initiative, but this is no substitute for a complete set of legislative hearings where citizens can exercise their voice.
The next sessions are 3 p.m. Feb. 22-23 and you can click here for more. Also, before adopting the new rules, there is a public comment period running through March 15. People can learn more or submit their comments here.
Energy Assistance Program
As Minnesotans continue to feel the impact of COVID-19, there is still assistance available to income-eligible households (both owners and renters) for home heating bills and furnace repairs. The state’s Energy Assistance Program can help by providing financial assistance, such as:
- 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 31 this year and you can find more information and links to apply at the Minnesota Department of Commerce website.
Staying in Touch
Please continue to reach out to me to share your questions, thoughts, or concerns. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4293 or via email at email@example.com.
Have a great weekend,