Walz considering calling lawmakers back to consider police reforms

    Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said he is considering calling lawmakers back into special legislative session.

    Gov. Tim Walz is considering calling another special legislative session on July 10.

    Walz said he has been talking with lawmakers about a potential special session to focus on potential police reforms and other unfinished work.

    “All of us understand Minnesota is still the focal point of the need to have trust in our police force amongst our community, talking about reforms that make sure a situation like the killing of George Floyd doesn’t happen again,” Walz said.

    He said he hopes to decide by the end of the week, but if he calls one, it would likely be around July 10.

    “We have unfinished business around bonding, and some legislative issues that will impact how we deal with COVID and how we deal with our economic recovery,” Walz said.

    By bonding he means a public works bill expected to top $1 billion to fix the state’s aging infrastructure.

    Lawmakers held a special session earlier in June but the Republican-controlled Senate adjourned without reaching a compromise with DFLers on police reforms in response to George Floyd’s death.

    Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent, DFL-Woodbury, said to avoid a premature adjournment by Senate Republicans from happening again, both sides would have to be willing to reach across “lines of difference” and come to agreements on critical legislation such as bonding and criminal justice reform.

    “I’m hopeful we can get there, but actions speak louder than words,” she said.

    Walz said he knows there’s still concern about his public health emergency powers to deal with the pandemic and he’s trying to educate lawmakers about what that means.

    Republican lawmakers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.