ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Public safety will be a key debate Monday when the legislative session begins, but even as Republicans and Democrats’ proposals vary in scope and approach, there is at least one area where there might be agreement: Incentives to get more law enforcement officers into the profession and keep them on the job.

Senate Republicans on Wednesday framed a recent rise in crime as a call to action at the capitol to deliberately address carjackings and auto thefts — and toughen penalties for them. They said public safety is their No. 1 priority when lawmakers return to work.

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“We will put forward proposals to hold violent criminals accountable for their actions,” said Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller, R-Winona. “If someone breaks the law, there should be consequences.”

Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, who is chair of the judiciary committee, said Republicans are also discussing mandatory minimum sentences for violent crimes committed with guns in an effort to “get more judges and prosecutors to properly punish violent crimes,” and reshaping the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission so that members require Senate confirmation. The group has been under fire recently for a proposal to remove an enhanced penalty for additional offenses while a person is on probation or parole.

The GOP also proposed retention bonuses and “pension reforms” to keep police officers in the profession, scholarships for recruitment, and a marketing campaign to attract more people. Details about the cost and size of the package weren’t available during a Wednesday news conference; leaders said those details will be forthcoming next week.

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That approach is not far off from what Gov. Tim Walz put forward later Wednesday afternoon in his supplemental budget outline, a sign of potential bipartisan agreement. Republicans in the Senate, Democrats in the House, and Walz will need to strike a deal before session’s end.

Walz’s budget accounts for $1,000 for student loan payments for five years for new officers, in addition to a recruitment advertising campaign. Also in the plan are community policing grants totaling $30 million that would “prioritize addressing violent crime and drug crime;” funding for a new Violent Crime Support Unit within the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to provide more staff support to local agencies; and $300 million over three years in local government aid to support local public safety budgets.

“The conversation that’s been had over the last several years is striking balances in communities to protect public safety and to be thoughtful on dealing with what’s in front of us,” Walz said.

House Democrats suggested in their outline of a $100 million for public safety to allocate $22 million for crime investigation grants to hire more individuals to solve violent crimes.

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The 2022 legislative session begins on Monday.

Caroline Cummings