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Special session has many new issues

When the Minnesota Legislature adjourned its 2020 session in May, it knew it would be coming back this week to finish up.

A special session was assured, to consider renewing Gov. Tim Walz’s COVID-19 peacetime emergency powers. And as long as they were coming back, legislators figured they could still pass the state bonding bill that they had failed to finish during the session.

So much has happened since then. Legislators could not have foreseen the death of George Floyd at the hands (or knee) of a Minneapolis police officer and the resulting demonstrations and riots that would follow.

The debate during the special session is sure to include a list of measures designed to regulate how police use force, what kind of training and measures they receive and how they are held accountable to the community for their actions.

No doubt there will be proposals in the bonding bill to assist Minneapolis and St. Paul with the damages that resulted from the destruction and rioting following Floyd’s death.

A lot of anguish has transpired since the Legislature adjourned, and new issues are forcing their way onto the legislative special session agenda. We’re not sure how much legislators are willing to deal with at this time, but it is time for the dialog to start.

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