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Walz, DFL leaders insist on police accountability changes before end of session

Plus: man accused of vandalizing mosque says it was a joke; school districts face COVID-driven budget crunch; MyPillow guy to launch social network at Corn Palace in South Dakota; and more.

Gov. Tim Walz
Gov. Tim Walz
Graeme Jennings/Pool via REUTERS

Keeping up the call for police reform. The Star Tribune’s Stephen Montemayor reports:Gov. Tim Walz insisted Thursday that new police accountability measures must be part of the mix as the Legislature works to finalize a state budget and finish its session. … Walz and a dozen state lawmakers gathered for a news conference in St. Paul to keep up pressure on policing bills that Democrats and activists have sought in response to the murder of George Floyd and other incidents between police and people of color. … But the Senate’s Republican Senate majority makes that less than a sure thing. Last week, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, walked back plans he’d announced following the Chauvin verdict to hold legislative hearings on new policing bills.”

Sick joke. WCCO reports:A man accused of spray-painting hate messages on a Minnesota mosque told police he meant it as a joke, according to a complaint filed Thursday. … Benjamin Enderle, 22, of Moorhead, is charged with criminal damage to property and misdemeanor harassment with bias, both felonies, in the vandalism that was discovered early Sunday. He made his first court appearance Thursday morning and told a judge that ‘I regretted doing it right after I did it.’”

All part of the fun of being a teacher. The Star Tribune’s Erin Golden reports: “Minnesota school districts are preparing to lay off teachers, drop programs and increase class sizes as they begin to feel the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their budgets. … Across the state, districts that saw their costs surge and enrollment drop during the pandemic school year are drawing down on their reserves and finalizing millions of dollars in cuts. With state lawmakers in a stalemate over school funding and budget deadlines approaching, many schools have begun sending out layoff notices, in some cases by the dozens.

There’s a shucker born every minute.  In the Pioneer Press, Jeremy Fugleberg reports:MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell says he’ll launch his new social media site and podcast platform, dubbed Frank, at a rally at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D., on May 10. … Lindell made the announcement Wednesday on the podcast “Bannon’s War Room” hosted by Steve Bannon, a former top adviser to President Donald Trump. … ‘That’s going to be the grand, grand opening to the world,’ Lindell said. ‘I just want to get the awareness of the Frank speech, for our free speech to get out there so they can’t suppress us anymore.’”

Can’t get enough pillow-guy?MyPillow exec, Mike Lindell, defends himself during appearance on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’” [Star Tribune]

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