Democrats Demand Social Justice Initiatives are Added to the Special Session

"If criminal justice reform is not included in this special session, then we do not wish to have a special session at all."

Statement Author Senator Melisa Franzen
Statement Author Senator Melisa Franzen

The Democrat “The People of Color/Indigenous (POCI)” Caucus is extremely disappointed with Senate Majority Leader Gazelka’s comments that their Criminal Justice agenda isn’t on the special session’s agenda.

The Democrat push for criminal reform comes after George Floyd’s death, and the riots thereafter. The POCI Caucus released a statement saying that they have designed reforms in response to Floyd’s death, and have worked with many people to create them. The Caucus claims that their reforms are “… important, deeply needed and have been well researched and well thought out”.

“If criminal justice reform is not included in this special session, then we do not wish to have a special session at all. It is time to break down structural racism and fundamentally reshape how law enforcement interacts with our communities to ensure there can be accountability and justice. We can’t wait any longer,” reads their statement.

Senator Gazelka says that Senators such as Warren Limmer have been working on criminal justice reform and the topic is not a new one. 

“But I do believe more work can be done. But to actually expect that to be done in the next week, is not how the legislative body’s work. We meet in committees and we fully vet issues to make sure we get it right, because it’s not just for now, this is for a generation to come,” said Gazelka.

Gazelka said that he expects the session to be a shorter one and that afterward legislators will meet and discuss more complicated issues such as criminal justice reform and education reform.