As Minnesota continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and grapple with needed police reform following George Floyd’s death, Governor Tim Walz today announced that he will convene a special legislative session beginning on June 12, 2020. The Governor’s priorities will be to pass police reform and accountability and build a stronger and more equitable economy.
“Minnesota is at a turning point. This is our chance to take strong action to combat persistent structural inequities, pass substantive police reform, and build a stronger economy,” said Governor Walz. “I look forward to working with the legislature to seize this moment and build a brighter future for Minnesotans.”
“In this unprecedented moment, we must take unprecedented action on police accountability, equity, and economic recovery,” said Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan. “This is not business as usual. We have an extraordinary opportunity to create meaningful, lasting change. We cannot waste this moment with hesitation.”
The Governor supports the recommendations on police reform and accountability that will be introduced by the Minnesota People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus and the Attorney General’s Police-Involved Deadly Force Encounters Working Group. The proposals support use of force reform; funding for alternatives to policing; greater police oversight; voting restoration; community healing; and prosecutorial, investigatory, and training reform.
The Governor’s plan to build a strong and equitable economy will include his bonding proposal, the Local Jobs and Projects Plan, in addition to economic assistance for businesses impacted by COVID-19. The Governor will also work with partners at the community, local, state, and federal level to provide assistance for businesses impacted by the events in Minneapolis and St. Paul and plan for the future of these areas.
Governor Walz will also extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by 30 days to ensure the state can continue to quickly and effectively respond to the pandemic. Every state in the U.S. has declared a state of emergency allowing governors and other officials to quickly respond to rapidly-evolving threats stemming from COVID-19.