MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The Minneapolis Charter Commission is expected to vote Wednesday on a proposal to disband the city’s police department.
Restructuring the city’s approach to law enforcement requires a lot of steps, starting with changing the city charter. Under the current charter language, the city council is required to fund a police force of a size proportionate to the city’s population.
STEPS TO CHANGE THE CITY CHARTER
City council proposes, approves amendment
On June 26, the Minneapolis City Council approved a proposed amendment to the city charter that would remove the requirement for a police department and replace it with a “Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention,” which has within it a Division of Law Enforcement Services with licensed peace officers.
Charter Commission reviews amendment, makes recommendation
The proposed amendment will have to be approved by a public vote, but before it can get on the ballot this November, the Charter Commission will make a decision on their recommendation for the amendment. Under state law, the Charter Commission has at least 60 days to complete its review and submit its recommendation to the city council.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the Charter Commission can make one of four decisions: recommend the city council put the amendment on the ballot, recommend against putting the amendment on the ballot, send the city council alternative language for the amendment or give themselves 90 more days under state law to consider the question.
Policy and Oversight Committee reviews amendment
Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender said if the Charter Commission chooses one of the first three options, the proposed amendment would go before the Policy and Oversight Committee, which could forward the question onto the city council.
The Policy and Oversight Committee has their next meeting on Thursday, Aug. 6.
City council votes to put amendment on November ballot
The city council would discuss the amendment at their next meeting on Monday, Aug. 10, which would also include a public hearing so the public can weigh in on it. The city council would then vote whether or not to put the amendment on this ballot in November.
Mayor Frey could veto the amendment, however, but the city council could override that veto with a two-thirds vote.
Minneapolis residents vote on amendment
Minneapolis residents would vote on the proposed charter amendment in the election on Nov. 3.
If approved by voters, the changes to the city charter would become effective May 1, 2021.
However, if the Charter Commission says Wednesday it needs more time to review the amendment, the issue could stall out and miss the deadline to get on this year's ballot.
The deadline to get a question on the ballot for this November 2020 election is Aug. 21.