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UPDATE: Minnesota Senate GOP leader says deal near on policing bill

KSTP/The Associated Press
Updated: July 20, 2020 12:38 PM
Created: July 20, 2020 05:39 AM

UPDATE: The top Republican in the Minnesota Senate says legislative leaders have a tentative agreement on the outlines of a police accountability bill.

But chances appear dimmer for a $1.9 billion public construction projects package that has yet to win the necessary GOP support in the Democratic-controlled House.

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Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says the Senate will adjourn late Monday if there's no agreement on the bonding bill.

Gazelka says they've agreed on the high points of a policing bill but are still working out the language. It includes bans on chokeholds and “warrior training.”


Minnesota House Republican leaders said Monday they won’t provide the votes to pass a $1.9 billion public construction projects bill, and that they won't back a police accountability bill either. 

House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt made the comments as lawmakers returned to the Capitol to resume their second special session of the year after several days of behind-the-scenes negotiations.

Daudt said there are items added to, and still included in, proposals that he says the GOP cannot get behind.

The bonding bill requires a three-fifths majority. So some Republican votes are necessary for the bill to clear the House. However, Daudt said no Republicans will vote for the bonding bill as things now stand.

An earlier version of this report appears below.


Monday, police reform and a bonding bill are the top priorities headed into the second week of the new special session.

Lawmakers remained hopeful a deal could be reached with both issues after the items failed to pass during the previous special session.

A major bill on the floor this week will be the bonding bill. In order to get the supermajority vote needed, the GOP pushed for tax breaks for businesses to be included in the bill. 

DFLers would rather give those breaks to families, but have adjusted to try to move the legislation through, comparing the destruction from the unrest following the death of George Floyd to a tornado. 

"In Minnesota, we have a long tradition of sticking up and helping communities hurt by that kind of disaster and right now we are failing those people—Minnesota needs to step up and do the right thing for them," House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler said.

"We're working on provisions that are good for the entire state, so if it's good for Minneapolis, it has to be good for out-state as well," Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said. "For example, in the tax bill, we have something called Section 179 that allows businesses to deduct expenses up front. It also applies to the ag community so it would also apply to Minneapolis when they're buying new equipment." 

Police reform is the other big item on the agenda. 

The House might take that to the floor for the final time Monday. Compared with the first special session, the two sides were also closer on that bill. 

Lawmakers reconvene at 10 a.m.


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