Minnesota Bill Blocks Rioters Getting Taxpayer-Funded State Aid
MN state Sen. David Osmek: Minnesotans are 'sick and tired of the vandalism and violence'
A new bill in Minnesota blocks people convicted of rioting, or other criminal offenses during civil unrest and protests, from receiving taxpayer-funded state aid.
SF 2381 prevents those convicted of such crimes from receiving state aid including, but not limited to:
- Student loans and grants
- Rent or mortgage assistance
- Food stamps
- Unemployment benefits
- Business grants
- Medical assistance and healthcare.
Republican state Sen. David Osmek introduced the bill to the Minnesota House this month.
"Minnesotans have a long history of supporting the freedom to protest and the [First] Amendment," Osmek told Fox News in a statement.
"But the vast majority of them also are sick and tired of the vandalism and violence that recent 'protests' have become."
He added that protestors do not "have the 'constitutional right' to throw a brick through the window of a business, throw frozen soda cans at police, and loot cell phone stores."
"Considering city and county attorneys are not prosecuting the laws that the Legislature has written, it is time that criminal protestors lose the right to taxpayer wallets," he said.
Osmek introduced the legislation days before the April 11 police shooting of Daunte Wright of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.
Wright's death has sparked protests in Minneapolis and surrounding areas in recent weeks, nearly a year after the city grappled with riots and destruction after the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd.
Closing arguments in the case of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes before he was pronounced dead in police custody, are expected to begin Monday.
The case is leading city officials to prepare for potential backlash if the former officer is acquitted.
The National Guard has deployed more than 3,000 troops to the area to help an additional 1,000 law enforcement officers as part of a local security plan called "Operation Safety Net," according to the Star Tribune.
Members of the @MNNationalGuard, and other agencies, are accompanying emergency medical and fire responders in the Twin Cities metro area to provide security for first responders, enabling them to safely treat patients and save lives. pic.twitter.com/dTwXD7sruE— Minnesota OSN (@MinnesotaOSN) April 18, 2021
Locals who spoke to the paper mostly expressed support for the Guard's presence in the area to prevent further destruction.
"I want to see justice and change, but I also don’t want my city to burn," Dan Woodward told the Tribune.