Minnesota’s Republican-controlled Senate hit the ground running Thursday by introducing 91 pieces of legislation. Many of the items correspond with the top five priorities Republicans outlined at a Tuesday press conference, though there were several noteworthy outliers.
Senate File (SF) 80, for instance, would impose “aid reductions” on sanctuary cities in Minnesota. The bill defines a sanctuary city as any city that prohibits or restricts local public safety officials from enforcing federal immigration law, or any city “designated as a sanctuary jurisdiction” by the Department of Homeland Security.
“Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a city may not receive aid payment under sections 477A.011 to 477A.03 if it is determined to be a sanctuary city,” the bill states. Cities such as Minneapolis and Rochester have declared themselves sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants.
Republicans also introduced what is often referred to as a “stand your ground” bill, which allows for the use of deadly force in life-situations and is generally pushed by pro-Second Amendment activists.
“An individual taking defensive action pursuant to subdivision 2 may use all force and means, including deadly force, that the individual in good faith believes is required to succeed in defense,” SF 72 states, noting that “the individual is not required to retreat.”
Additionally, the bill would make individuals who use deadly force in life-threatening situations “immune from any criminal prosecution for that act,” and would place the burden of proof in a criminal trial on the state.
Several bills introduced Thursday would limit the Metropolitan Council’s authority as well as the governor’s sole authority in appointing members to that council, which has been the subject of numerous reports from The Minnesota Sun. Of the 400 similar Metropolitan Planning Organizations across the country, the Twin Cities Met Council is the only one with no elected members.
SF 70 would require every Met Council appointee to first receive written approval from the majority of local governments in their respective districts, and would also allow for local governments within each Met Council district to seek the removal of a member.
Other bills introduced Thursday focus on the Senate GOP’s top priorities for the session, such as fraud in government programs.
“We’ve heard from Minnesotans that they are struggling to afford child care and health care, want better mental health resources, and are concerned about government transparency and accountability, so these issues will be our top priorities as we put together the next state budget,” Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) said.
The fate of Republican-backed bills in the Senate is questionable, since they will need to pass a DFL-controlled House and be signed into law by Gov. Tim Walz (D-MN).
A full list of the 91 bills introduced Thursday can be accessed here.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Justin Eichorn” by Justin Eichorn.
Photo “Paul Utke” by Paul Utke.
Background Photo “Minnesota Capital Chambers” by Chris Gaukel. CC BY-SA 2.0.