Legislation Allowing Localities to Establish Law Enforcement Civilian Review Boards Heads to Governor’s Desk

Compromised legislation that gives localities the authority to establish law enforcement civilian review boards (CRB) successfully passed final votes in the Senate and House of Delegates Wednesday afternoon, and now goes to the governor’s desk for final approval.

Joint conference committee reports for Senate Bill 5035 passed the Senate (21-Y 17-N) and for House Bill 5055 passed the House (53-Y 35-N), mostly along the party lines of both chambers.

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Senate Lawmakers Send Numerous Bills to Joint Conference Committees with House

The Senate sent a number of bills to be considered by joint conference committees, and appointed conferees to join their colleagues in the House of Delegates to consider legislation on Wednesday.

Three or four Senators and Delegates are assigned to different conference committees and must try to agree on compromised language for similar bills from each body or the legislation will die. If compromised versions are agreed upon, those bills will go back to the House and Senate for a final passage vote.

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Virginia House Passes $134B Budget with Rental and Utility Assistance, Justice and Police Reform Funding

The Virginia House of Delegates passed its two-year $134 billion budget on Tuesday with specific funding for rental and utility assistance, public education, internet access, affordable housing, criminal justice and police reform.

The revised budget from the House does not perfectly lineup with the proposed budget Governor Ralph Northam presented to the General Assembly at the beginning of the 2020 special session.

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Gade Abandons Trump on Key Immigration Policy in First Debate U.S. Senate with Warner

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and Republican challenger Daniel Gade appeared virtually on NBC4 for their first debate. NBC News’ Chuck Todd moderated the debate from Washington, D.C. with a live Zoom audience.
Topics included the Supreme Court nominations, COVID-19, the digital divide, policing, racial justice, immigration, and the election.

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Dangerous Police Reform Bills Keep Moving In Virginia House

The House Committee on Public Safety conformed multiple bills from the Senate relating to police reform on Monday as the 2020 special session enters its fifth week.

Legislation is conformed when there are two similar bills that have both come out of the House and Senate, and are being considered by committees of the other legislative body.

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Senate Passes Two Parole Board Bills, Advances More Policing Reforms

The Senate on Wednesday passed two bills relating to the parole board and continued to advance more policing legislation. 

The first bill on the Virginia Parole Board, introduced by Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Rockingham County), aims to provide the public with more transparency on the decisions made by requiring monthly reports on the inmates released and providing the felonies the prisoner was serving time for, among others.  

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House Democrats Block Congressman Stauber’s Police Reform Bill Again

House Democrats blocked discussion of a police reform bill sponsored by Congressman Pete Stauber (R-MN-08). Democratic leaders argued that the more important issue at hand is the “postal crisis.”

Stauber criticized the focus of their session.

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Virginia House Democrats to Introduce Legislation ‘Demilitarizing Police Departments,’ Ending Qualified Immunity, and More During Special Session

Virginia’s legislature will meet in a Special Session on August 18, and House Democrats are eyeing new laws and regulations that will place tighter regulations on Virginia police departments and officers.

In a statement released today, the House Democrats listed a myriad of points (detailed at the end of the article) they hope to address by introducing new legislation during the Special Session.

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Proposal to Disband the Minneapolis Police Blocked

The Minneapolis Charter Council on Wednesday blocked the controversial ballot proposal to disband the police. 

In a 10-5 vote, the city’s Charter Council opted to take an extra 90 days to review the proposal. This means that voters will not have the opportunity to vote on the proposal in November. In an online meeting, the Charter Commission members complained that the new measure was vague, might run afoul of state law, and put the council in charge of the proposed department, according to Forbes.

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Minnesota’s Gov Walz to Review Extensive Police Reform Bill

Minnesota’s House and Senate approved the SSHF1 amendment last Monday, a big bill positioned to issue widespread police reform throughout the state. Since its passage 102-29 in the House and 60-7 in the Senate, the bill now rests in the hands of Governor Tim Walz. 

SSHF1 is as long as it is weighty in its impact, with around 15 action items up for approval. Not only does it endeavor to further define legal use of force, but it creates and funds an administrative host of units, councils, and boards.

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Walz Calls Another Special Session, Says He Will Extend COVID-19 Emergency Powers

Gov. Tim Walz said he plans to extend his COVID-19 peacetime emergency declaration for another 30 days when lawmakers return to St. Paul Monday for a special session.

The governor announced Friday night that he has convened a special legislative session for July 13, the same day his peacetime emergency declaration is set to expire. According to Minnesota law, the governor must convene both houses of the Legislature if he wishes to extend a peacetime emergency when the Legislature is not in session.

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DFL Targets State Senate Republicans on Police Reform in New Ad Campaign

The Minnesota DFL Party launched a new ad campaign this week targeting key Republican state senators who are accused of “standing in the way of passing real police reform.”

Jason Lewis, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, said in a recent interview that Democrats don’t “want reform” so much as they “want a political issue.”

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Whitmer Proposes Police Reform Policies, Including Chokehold Ban, Duty to Intervene Policies

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released a proposal for additional police reform policies on Monday after nearly a month of protests against police brutality and racial inequality across the nation.

The four-pronged plan features policies such as a ban on chokeholds, retention of disciplinary records and a requirement of “duty to intervene” policies.

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State Reps Introduce Bill to Ban Police Use of Chokeholds in Ohio

Two Ohio Democrats introduced a bill Friday to criminalize the use of chokeholds by law enforcement officers in Ohio.

“Chokeholds can cause serious injury or even death. The NYPD ban on chokeholds didn’t prevent the death of Eric Garner. We cannot leave this up to cities and individual departments any more. The state must act. We need greater law enforcement accountability in Ohio,” said Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown), who introduced the bill with Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron).

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‘Train Wreck’ Special Session Cost Estimated $108,000

The Minnesota Legislature’s recent special session ended with no major accomplishments, but the eight-day session will still cost taxpayers an estimated $108,000.

The special session concluded on June 20 after Republicans in the Senate and Democrats in the House failed to reach an agreement on police reform legislation, the allocation of federal coronavirus relief funds, and other leftover business from the regular session, such as a borrowing package for public infrastructure projects.

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Republican Pete Stauber, Former Law Enforcement Officer, Carries Police Reform Bill in the House

Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN-08), a former law enforcement officer of more than 20 years, announced last week that he will carry police reform legislation in the U.S. House.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced on Wednesday the Just and Unifying Solutions to Invigorate Communities Everywhere (JUSTICE) Act, a Republican-backed police reform bill that was set in motion after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

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Minnesota Ends ‘Train Wreck’ Special Session With No Deal on Policing, Bonding Bill

Minnesota legislative leaders traded barbs Saturday after a special session collapsed with no deal on revamping policing following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a session that one group called “a train wreck.”

The two sides may be back at it in another special session next month.

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Sen. Blackburn Co-Sponsors Bill to Enact Police Reforms

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has joined a legislative effort to provide police reform, accountability and transparency.

Blackburn said she became a cosponsor of U.S. Sen. Tim Scott’s (R-SC) Just and Unifying Solutions to Invigorate Communities Everywhere (JUSTICE) Act.

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Mayor Cooper Reinforces Police Chokehold Ban, Duty to Intervene

Mayor John Cooper said this week that he has asked the Metro Nashville Police Department to strengthen its policies to “explicitly prohibit the use of chokeholds and to further clarify officers’ duty to intervene.”

However, as the statement from Cooper’s office notes, chokeholds are already prohibited under Tennessee law in most circumstances. Additionally, since the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) doesn’t train officers on the technique, chokeholds are “not allowed per Nashville police policy and have not been allowed for decades,” said the statement.

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Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe Talks About the Democrats’ Strategy for Police Reform

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line.

During the third hour, McCabe discussed the Democrat’s immediate agenda and strategy for law enforcement and police reform. He pointed out that their intent is not to defund the police but to federalize it via a blueprint inspired by the Obama administration.

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Thomas Homan: Democrats Want Chaos So They Can Defeat Trump in the 2020 Election

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Leahy was joined on the line by author and former Acting Director of ICE Tom Homan.

During the second hour, Homan checks the mayor of Seattle and chief of police and the unlawful order requesting that the chief abandon her precinct. He adds that all of this is designed to create chaos by the Democratic party so they can get rid of Donald Trump in the upcoming 2020 general election.

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Ohio Governor Proposes Outside Probes of Police Shootings

All shootings by Ohio police officers and any deaths of individuals in custody would be investigated by independent agencies under a proposal announced Wednesday by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine in his first major response to days of protests over police treatment of minorities.

As part of the proposal, the State Highway Patrol, which is under DeWine’s direct supervision, will no longer investigate its own shootings, the governor said.

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President Trump Signs Executive Order on Police Reform

Following weeks of national protests since the death of George Floyd, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on policing Tuesday that he said would encourage better police practices and establish a database to keep track of officers with a history of excessive use-of-force complaints.

In Rose Garden remarks, Trump stressed the need for higher standards and commiserated with mourning families, even as he hailed the vast majority of officers as selfless public servants and held his law-and-order line.

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