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Special Session: Lawmakers Still Trying To Settle On Police Reform, Bonding, Tax Bills In Final Hours

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The lights are on late Thursday night at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, as lawmakers try to reach a compromise in the special session.

Gov. Tim Walz expected lawmakers to address COVID-19 relief, a bonding bill, tax bill and police reforms this week.

So far, none of those issues are settled as of 10:45 p.m., but there is word of progress on the issue of allocation of $840 million of federal CARES Act funding for COVID-19 relief across the state.

The socially-distant Minnesota House spent hours Thursday debating its police reform package. It is now a very large bill that will certainly be passed by the House at some point late Thursday night. It includes everything from a ban on warrior training for officers; having the state attorney general prosecute all cases of police deadly force; residency requirements for officers; restoring voting rights for felons; a revised state law banning police choke holds; a duty for officers to report abuse; and a duty to prioritize the sanctity of life.

Among those watching Thursday night's debates was Valerie Castile, mother of Philando Castile, who was shot to death by a Falcon Heights police officer in 2016. She says she wants change.

"You have to change if you want a different result. We want different results. We want our children to come home," Castile said. "Nobody wants to bury their child."

Senate Republicans insist they also want police reform change, but their package of five bills is much narrower in scope then the House package.

All sides are still talking late Thursday night, but it is still possible that there won't be major agreements on police reform, the bonding bill, and even a tax bill -- most likely leading to another special session very soon.


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