ST. PAUL (WCCO) – Legislative leaders have struck deals for most parts of the $52 billion for the next two years, but the public safety spending plan—and what policies changing policing in Minnesota are tucked inside of it—is not yet agreed to, with lawmakers still at an impasse on key proposals that DFL lawmakers and advocates have been championing.

“It’s probably fair to say it’s a little bit stuck,” Gov. Tim Walz said during a news conference on Thursday. “Folks are really passionate about this.”

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“The world is watching,” he added, underscoring Derek Chauvin’s sentencing for George Floyd’s murder scheduled for Friday.

Some of the policies not yet resolved that Democrats support are curtailing no-knock warrants, limiting the reasons a police officer can pull a driver over for certain traffic violations and sign-and-release warrants for misdemeanors—the latter two directly responding to the case of Daunte Wright, who was shot and killed during a traffic stop in April.

Walz said the Republican-controlled Senate and DFL-controlled House traded the latest offer Thursday in an effort to strike a deal.

As negotiations continue, Republicans raise concerns about the uptick in crime and have previously said they don’t want any police accountability measure that would “hinder” officers and their ability to do their jobs.

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“It is the most difficult,” Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, told reporters earlier in the week. “We want to focus on getting more police out on the streets, making sure they have the resources they have. We think that’s the number one issue right now.”

It’s all but certain that the public safety budget, under which any more police accountability measures would fall, will be the last bill looming over next Wednesday’s deadline. The government will partially shut down next Thursday, the first day of the new fiscal year, if the $52 billion two-year budget is not signed into law.

Every other part of the budget—including the largest shares of state spending, K-12 education and health and human services—have agreements between the chambers.

As of Thursday, five of the 13 budget bills passed both chambers and await the governor’s signature.

The Senate on Thursday approved a $7.3 billion in transportation funding, which includes money for more state troopers and provides resources to equip them with body cameras.

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The House passed a bill that would create an “off-ramp” ending the eviction moratorium by the fall and the Senate should take that up Friday. The pandemic-era ban on evictions is the center of a lawsuit against Gov. Tim Walz.

Caroline Cummings