Minnesota Senate passes Public Safety Omnibus bill

Published: Apr. 14, 2023 at 9:42 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) –Today, the Minnesota Senate took up the Judiciary and Public Safety Omnibus Bill. After a lengthy debate, the bill passed along party lines, with 34 votes in favor and 33 against.

The bill contains several changes to the state’s corrections system.

One of those is investments in public defenders and the state’s judicial system, something the DFL party hopes will cut down on crime at the state’s court level.

The bill also introduces a system called “The Minnesota Rehabilitation and Reinvestment Act,” or MRRA.

The act creates a program for incarcerated people to reduce their sentence time by taking a series of classes to help them rehabilitate and reintegrate into society.

DFLers like the Bill’s chief author Senator Ron Latz feel that’s a beneficial addition to the state’s prison system.

“By learning new skills when they get released, they can be productive members of the workforce by addressing their addiction problems. drug problems, alcohol problems by addressing mental health concerns,” Latz said.

GOP Senators don’t feel the same way.

Maple Grove Senator Warren Limmer, a republican, was concerned of the bill’s potential outcomes.

“We have sentences that the legislature has created to deter future criminal activity with punishment. And yet nevertheless, we seem to be going in an opposite direction right now with the MRRA program,” Limmer said.

What this really boils down to is an ideological difference between the DFL and GOP... Republicans believe the state needs to be tougher on crime, and DFLers believe the best way to cut that crime is to rehabilitate.