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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Walter Hudson (R)

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Legislative update

Friday, February 16, 2024

Dear Neighbor,

Greetings from the Capitol, where this week the 2024 legislative session began and already House Democrats are showing a dereliction of duty on serious issues and a complete disregard for everyone this side of their radical activists.

The most serious issue at hand is the dangerous situation Democrats created in schools throughout our state by last year smuggling public safety language into an education omnibus bill. They changed state law to limit which trained skills school resource officers may deploy to de-escalate a volatile situation before someone gets hurt – or worse.

This resulted in the removal of school resource officers from schools throughout the state. Rather than fix it quick and easy with a repealer in a special session, the Democrats inexplicably delayed until this year, endangering students. To this day, the issue remains unresolved and legislative action is needed to restore an essential safety component in our schools.

Here is the full story you won't get in any media report, whether they haven't pieced together what is going on or don't have any desire to share it with you:

Despite even the Democrat House Speaker herself claiming to the media on Monday that our legislative work should take place in a non-partisan manner, the minority was completely shut out of discussions with stakeholders and had no role in the development of the Democrat "fix." The "fix" makes the problem significantly worse by temporarily reverting to a single use of force standard while empowering the activist POST board to conjure any policy they want to impose on SROs under threat of "licensing sanctions" and "injunctive relief."

The Democrat's "fix" takes the issue out of statute, out of the domain of the elected legislature, and places it in the domain of an unelected body appointed by the governor, creating more uncertainty and unlimited potential for disruption moving forward.

In other words, Democrats want to empower the POST board to impose model policy on SROs under threat of license sanction or injunctive action. They're stated reason is "we need uniformity,” but there was uniformity when all law enforcement officers were held to the reasonable use of force standard.

You could get uniformity easily by going back to that, which is what most people probably assume is meant by "fix." If you're "fix" doesn't achieve uniformity, what is the new unreasonable standard you anticipate the POST board enforcing?

The Democrats are tipping their hand. They never intended to fix the problem. They're just trying to evade political accountability for its effect by passing the buck to the POST board. It couldn't be clearer the Democrat objective here is not getting SROs in schools. The objective is appearing to fix their mistake while preserving its debilitating effect through unaccountable means. We held out a slim hope that Democrats were serious about getting SROs back in schools. Their latest actions proved that hope in vain.

The tax hikes for housing grift

On a separate issue with a similarly cynical Democrat view toward Minnesotans, the DFL proposes raising the sales tax to fund housing projects. Here’s how their grift works: First, pluck at heartstrings by spotlighting people in crisis. Then propose a simplistic "solution" that won't actually help them but will certainly line the pockets of political allies. If all you care about is the number of people "housed" so you can look good politically, then that might qualify as success.

Selective stats don't impress me. If you actually care about people and the outcomes in their lives, you need to address root causes – from reducing illicit drug use to improving mental health, reducing domestic violence and containing catastrophic medical costs. A social media exchange I recently had on this subject started off on a not-so-friendly tone but evolved to an actual meeting where the other party and I took the time to articulate more than 140 characters and – even more importantly – took the time to listen to each other.

Either of us easily could have dismissed the other as a keyboard warrior, shut down the app and moved along with festering resentment. Instead, we engaged in deeper dialogue, learned from each other and now I am working on legislation to expedite charges for suspects of domestic violence. Why is a victim out on the street while the perpetrator should be off the street?

Stay tuned on this one, but I want to underscore how constructive it is when we step out from behind our keyboards and risk face-to-face conversation with differing perspectives.



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