SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Monday night, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed SF 2909, the Judiciary and Public Safety budget conference committee report. The public safety portion of the report invests in a diverse set of tools to improve public safety. It prioritizes a holistic approach on gun violence prevention, funding for law enforcement and victims of crime, juvenile justice reform, and more. This report will create a safer Minnesota while working to break cycles of crime and violence.
In response to increasing gun violence, now the leading cause of death for children in the U.S., the bill includes several violence prevention measures. It implements criminal background checks to keep guns out of the hands of those who are prohibited from having them. It also includes a red flag law, creating an effective tool to prevent those likely to cause harm from doing so. Lastly, it makes historic investments in gun violence prevention research grants to determine the next best steps to end gun violence.
Rep. Laurie Pryor (DFL- Minnetonka) voted for the legislation.
“The death toll from gun violence keeps rising. For years, House DFLers have worked with law enforcement, community members and advocates to craft a bill to make Minnesotans safer, and for years our efforts have been blocked in the Senate,” said Rep. Pryor. “This year both the House and Senate acted and I’m extremely proud of this legislation. The measures we passed will save lives, support our law enforcement professionals, assist victims of crime and help everyone feel safer where they live, work, study, recreate and worship.”
Support for law enforcement and victims is central to the bill, carrying significant investments for both. The legislation includes law enforcement priorities with a substantial investment in officer recruitment. Victims and survivors will receive the assistance they need through advocacy programs, housing supports, and state-paid sexual assault exams.
This bill prevents crime before it happens with an unprecedented investment in community violence prevention grants. These grants will be used to fund a wide range of proven programs to address the root causes of crime and violence. This is a direct investment into communities that need it the most while recognizing that new approaches and alternatives are needed.
To break destructive cycles of violence and recidivism, the public safety budget invests heavily in juvenile justice and rehabilitation reform. With funding for juvenile treatment homes, an Office of Restorative Practices, and youth intervention grants, this bill will have a transformative effect on juvenile justice in Minnesota. Through several critical measures like fully funding probation services and improved incarceration programs that provide treatment, education, and employment skills, this bill focuses on evidence-based approaches to rehabilitation. These strategies will allow us to reduce recidivism, ensuring that our justice system is not a revolving door.
Video of the floor debate will be uploaded to the House Information YouTube page. The spreadsheet of complete investments for the Public Safety and Judiciary budget can be downloaded here.