Senate Majority Passes Public Safety Budget Keeps Minnesotans Safe, Holds Criminals Accountable

ST. PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Senate passed the Judiciary and Public Safety budget bill to prioritize the funding of programs for domestic abuse shelters, crime victim services, emergency communications and 911 services. The bill passed with tripartisan support on a vote of 44-23. 

A major advancement included in the bill will close the “intoxication loophole” brought to light by a Supreme Court ruling that overturned a sexual assault conviction because the victim was voluntarily inebriated. Senator Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove) has led the way as the Senate has consistently supported and created stronger laws to combat sexual assault and to bring awareness to victims of sexual assault. 

“I am committed to making strong, positive changes that improve public safety in our great state,” Limmer said. “Public safety is balance of addressing crime and pursuing justice. I am proud this bill finds common ground to clear a path to justice for victims. We also take a strong stand to prevent crimes against children and increase penalties for those who profit from harmful street drugs.”

“Senate Republicans are committed to keeping Minnesotans safe and fully funding our public safety institutions,” Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-East Gull Lake) said. “This bill provides justice to victims and protects Minnesotans. I understand that Minnesota is in the spotlight. Last summer we passed several major reforms to police accountability, and we will look at additional reforms this session. It’s vitally important we keep the budget process moving forward with this bill.”

Highlights include: 

  • Increased penalties on child pornography, sex trafficking and solicitation of children, and child torture
  • Harsher penalties for individuals selling fentanyl
  • Increased probation funding to supervise and protect communities where offenders live
  • Expansion of alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent offenders 
  • Appropriation for the “Healthy Start Act,” a temporary release program for pregnant and postpartum inmates 

Senate Republicans are committed to ensuring Minnesota’s constitutionally required public safety responsibilities are met through a robust Judiciary budget. In the 2020 Special Session, Senate Republicans passed a widely supported, bipartisan package of common-sense reforms for Minnesota law enforcement. That legislation included a chokehold ban, duty to intervene, training on crisis response and flexibility, and many other reforms to ensure thesafety of our officers and Minnesotans.