February 3, 2021
St. Paul, Minn. (WCCO) — Republicans and Democrats are deeply divided over Gov. Tim Walz’s plan to cover added security costs triggered by the impending trials of the ex-officers charged with George Floyd’s death, teeing up a larger battle at the Minnesota Capitol over how the state should handle responding to civil unrest.
Walz is asking the legislature to approve — with speed — $35 million for a special fund dubbed the “SAFE” account, designed to reimburse local governments whose officers may be dispatched to help with heightened security needs or emergency response. Overtime costs, logistical needs and damaged or destroyed equipment would be among the items eligible for cost assistance.
The governor and Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington framed the proposal during a news conference Wednesday as an ongoing fund that would benefit all of Minnesota in the event of an emergency down the line, but the idea came with the trials for Floyd’s killing in mind.