Policing structure ballot measure set for Minneapolis ballot

Welcome to the Tuesday, July 27, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Minneapolis City Council votes to certify Nov. 2 ballot language for initiative to replace police department
  2. Previewing the mayoral election in Detroit
  3. Missouri Supreme Court upholds Medicaid expansion amendment

Minneapolis City Council votes to certify Nov. 2 ballot language for initiative to replace police department

So far this year, Ballotpedia has tracked seven certified local ballot measures concerning police oversight and more. Here’s some information on the most recent one that was certified in Minneapolis.

On July 23, the Minneapolis City Council voted to approve a ballot question and explanatory note for a citizen initiative that would replace the police department with a department of public safety if approved by voters. The measure will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot.

The initiative would:

  • remove language on the city’s police department from the city charter, including provisions requiring minimum funding for the department and giving the mayor control over the police department;
  • create a department of public safety; and
  • allow the new department to include “licensed peace officers if necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of the department.” 
  • Under the initiative, the mayor would nominate and the city council would appoint the commissioner of the public safety department.

Yes 4 Minneapolis submitted more than the required 11,906 valid signatures on April 30. The city clerk certified the petition on May 14.  

The city council’s vote was to (a) set the ballot language for the measure and (b) accept a city attorney report stating the measure concerned a proper subject matter for the city charter and is constitutional. The resolution now goes to the mayor’s desk. Mayor Jacob Frey has five days to sign or veto it. Frey opposes the initiative, but the resolution before him does not affect whether the measure will go on the ballot.

Frey’s office stated, “The mayor will not be signing the measure, but appreciates the careful work and thorough analysis done by City staff to prepare fair and accurate language for voters to consider this fall.”

The city council considered putting its own charter amendment to replace the police department on the Nov. 2 ballot. Sponsors withdrew their proposal, citing concerns over voter confusion, when Yes 4 Minneapolis’ initiative qualified for the ballot. The city council passed a similar charter amendment in 2020, but the city’s charter commission took the full time allotted to review the proposal, effectively blocking it from the November 2020 ballot.

After Minneapolis, Minnesota, police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd on May 25, 2020, nationwide events were held calling for changes to policing. Ballotpedia has been tracking police-related local ballot measures in 2020 and 2021. Last year, Ballotpedia identified 20 local police-related ballot measures in seven states that appeared on the Nov. 3 ballot. All 20 passed, although at least one was overturned after the election.

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Previewing the mayoral election in Detroit

We’re tracking a handful of elections happening one week from today, on Aug. 3. Let’s take a look today at the mayoral election in Detroit, Michigan.

Ten candidates are running in a nonpartisan primary election for mayor. The top two candidates will advance to the general election on Nov. 2. Media coverage has focused on incumbent Mike Duggan and challengers Anthony Adams and Tom Barrow. Economic development and public safety have been major issues in the race.

Karen Dumas, who worked as a communications strategist for former Mayor Dave Bing, said the city is “wrangling with the same things that the city has wrangled with all along,” including expanding the reach of economic development and ensuring affordable housing. 

Political consultant Mario Morrow said many voters “are not ready to throw [Duggan] out” and that Duggan’s challengers would need to convince voters that they could make better progress on these issues than Duggan has in his first two terms.

Duggan was first elected mayor in 2013 when he defeated opponent Benny Napoleon (D) 55% to 45%. In 2017, Duggan was re-elected by a margin of nearly 44 points, defeating Coleman Young II (D) 71.6% to 27.8%.

Adams is an attorney and served as deputy mayor of Detroit under former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (D). He was also an executive assistant to Mayor Coleman Young, was a board member and general counsel for Detroit Public Schools, and was interim director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.

Barrow worked as a practicing certified public accountant, led the civic group Citizens for Detroit’s Future, and was an advocate for changes to the municipal election system. This is Barrow’s fifth mayoral run and the second time he has competed against Duggan.

Kiawana Brown, Myya Jones, Jasahn Larsosa, Charleta McInnis, Danetta Simpson, Art Tyus, and D. Etta Wilcoxon are also running.

Detroit is the 19th-largest city in the U.S. by population and the largest city in Michigan, although between 2000 and 2010, the city’s population declined by 25%. As of 2019, its population was 670,031. 

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Missouri Supreme Court upholds Medicaid expansion amendment

On July 22, the Missouri Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a constitutional amendment enacting Medicaid expansion was constitutional. The decision reversed a lower court’s ruling that found the amendment voters approved last August was unconstitutional because it did not include a revenue source for the state to pay for Medicaid expansion. 

The Supreme Court ruled that the amendment “does not remove the General Assembly’s discretion in appropriating money to MO HealthNet,” and “the circuit court erred in declaring article IV, section 36(c) constitutionally invalid.”

The Supreme Court concluded that the Department of Social Services and Missouri HealthNet, which are responsible for the administration of Medicaid in Missouri, are required to use the funds lawmakers appropriate on all eligible recipients under the adopted amendment. The amendment, which was approved 53.27% to 46.73%, expanded Medicaid eligibility in Missouri to adults that are between 19 and 65 years of age whose income is 138% of the federal poverty level or below under the Affordable Care Act.

Missouri joins 38 states and Washington, D.C., in expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Our state partisanship study of the country’s state supreme courts found that the Missouri Supreme Court is under split control. This means that it does not have a majority of justices with a Democratic or Republican Confidence Score. For more on the report and the full list of our findings, click here.

For the full background on the Medicaid expansion amendment, click the link below.

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Note: Our item in yesterday’s Brew that discussed how uncommon it is for elections to be held on days other than Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Saturdays mistakenly identified New Jersey’s and Virginia’s 2025 statewide elections as being held on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2025. Those elections will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2025. We apologize for this error.