MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There is just one week left for the Minnesota Legislature to pass a budget deal. Lawmakers have to get all their work done by next Sunday night at 11:59 p.m., which means it’s going to be a busy week at the Minnesota State Capitol.
The upside of being the only state in the country with a split legislature is lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have to find common ground. The downside is that it’s often a long road to pass big-time bills.READ MORE: Here Are The Major Issues In Play As The 2021 Minnesota Legislative Session Nears End
The state’s new two-year budget kicks in July 1, so lawmakers have until then to agree on what it looks like or the state shuts down.
The bill itself is built around 12 catch-all bills ranging from agriculture to education to taxes to public safety.
At the core of public safety is the question of what meaningful reform can pass that will help build trust between police officers and the communities they serve. On Monday, lawmakers heard testimony from various law enforcement leaders who shared their perspective on how policing can change, and what it looks like when the change works.
“The work that we’ve done with our co-responder model in our community action team is actually recognized by NAMI,” St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson said. “These are things that work and need support. We were recognized as the law enforcement agency of the year, I want to say in 2018, by NAMI. And the reason I mention that is because very rarely has NAMI agreed with how law enforcement responds to people in a mental health crisis. To me it’s telling that those kinds of solutions are the ones that work, and it was nice that they recognized that and supported us, and they still do.”
St. Cloud Police’s co-responder model effectively has a police officer and a clinician responding together to mental health calls. The police officer only intervenes when necessary.
More On WCCO.com:
- Just Days After Opening, Black-Owned Juice Bar Burglarized In South Minneapolis
- Brooklyn Park Business Owner Reeling After Arsonists Target Store 'For No Reason At All'
- 3 Charged In Shooting Death Of 25-Year-Old Keisa Lange In St. Cloud; Investigators Looking Into Similar Homicide
- Bear Sightings On The Rise Around Twin Cities: What To Do If You See One