Senator Nelson supports bipartisan public safety budget

Senator Carla Nelson
2 min readMay 18, 2024

The Minnesota Senate on Wednesday approved a supplemental budget for Judiciary and Public Safety needs. More than a dozen amendments were accepted during the debate — including several Republican amendments that received bipartisan support — making the bill a true bipartisan effort.

“This bill is a great example of how Republicans and Democrats can work together to find common ground,” Senator Carla Nelson (R-Rochester) said. “While I am disappointed we couldn’t pass a clean bill that prioritized the items we all agree on — like funding the Department of Corrections, court operations, and crime victims — this is a good bill overall for Minnesotans, and I was glad to support it.”

Senator Nelson offered an amendment to prioritize funding for court operations, fund the Department of Corrections staffing budget, and provide more for crime victim services. A properly-funded court and corrections system ensures timely trials and safer prisons. Instead, the bill stretched funding for jury reimbursements over three years, all but ensuring a fiscal cliff. It also ignores the overtime currently required to fully staff the state’s prisons, digging a deeper financial hole. The amendment also included $10 million for victim services, in line with Gov. Walz’s proposal from this year. This amendment was defeated on party line vote.

Several other Republican amendments were added to the bill with bipartisan support.

  • Increase penalties for swatting calls targeting elected officials
  • Increase penalties for highway demonstrations
  • Require the State Patrol to conduct a comprehensive study for the swift and safe removal of highway protests
  • Close a loophole by creating a specific crime for fleeing police in a car
  • Establish a crime for knowingly being in a stolen vehicle
  • Allow charges for attempted sexual exploitation

“This bill is a great example of how we should be governing — by working together,” Senator Nelson added. “Minnesotans deserve to feel safe in their homes and communities, and thanks to the bipartisan efforts on the Senate floor, this bill improved significantly.

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