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Proposed bill would make protesters convicted of an offense ineligible for student loans

The bill comes amid many arrests at protests for Daunte Wright, a young Black man killed by police last Sunday. 
Image by Andy Kosier
A banner that says “Justice long delayed is justice denied” is raised in front of the Minnesota State Capitol by demonstrators on May 31, 2020.

A new bill proposed in the Minnesota Legislature would make anyone convicted of a crime at a protest ineligible for student loans and many other forms of state financial aid.

The bill, authored by Sen. David Osmek (R- Mound), states that “A person convicted of a criminal offense related to the person’s illegal conduct at a protest, demonstration, rally, civil unrest, or march is ineligible for any type of state loan, grant, or assistance, including but not limited to college student loans and grants …”

Other forms of state financial aid, including food stamps, rent assistance and unemployment benefits, are also in the bill.

Some University of Minnesota students are currently awaiting their court date after being arrested for protesting on highway I-94 last November.

Thousands of college students from several universities across the Twin Cities have participated in protests against police brutality, following the police killing of George Floyd in May 2020. Those protests have not lost much momentum over the past year, and key messages have included issues ranging from police brutality to climate change and voting rights.

After a Brooklyn Center police officer killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright last Sunday, more protests have rocked Brooklyn Center. Law enforcement made several arrests of Twin Cities-area students. Lawmakers are expected to pass any new legislation as early as May of this year.

This is a breaking news report. More information will be added as it becomes available.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated David Osmek’s home location; he is from Mound, Minnesota.

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  • Jackson Titus
    Apr 24, 2021 at 10:49 pm

    Uhm I live in Minnesota where can I find an online movement/organization protesting this bill?

  • John Doe
    Apr 22, 2021 at 10:39 am

    [email protected]

    This is his email, send a email about how much of a racist POS he is

  • Robert Speed
    Apr 21, 2021 at 8:23 pm

    Misdemeanor convictions don’t usually result in the loss of “Constitutional Rights”.

  • Charli03
    Apr 21, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    So is arresting protesters and ignoring the seditionists who stormed the capitol, but hypocrisy and all…

  • Charli03
    Apr 21, 2021 at 7:45 pm

    Republicans can only be judged by the people they put into office, the same way they judge democrats. The hypocrisy is wearying and getting worse. Democratic socialism and marxist are not the same thing and although it has worked since Reagan and Atwater to scare the incurious and easily led, the fact is that, if you poop and flush, you are a socialist.

  • robin hensel
    Apr 21, 2021 at 5:40 pm

    I know a really great attorney who would win at the Mn Supreme Court, should this be passed and challenged.

  • Enn Arre
    Apr 21, 2021 at 9:56 am

    You are correct the details are lacking. Do you think this may be allowing denial of government services over lesser-than felony charges or that charges in connection with riots would be considered felonies?

  • Katie B
    Apr 21, 2021 at 9:17 am

    That’s a really pathetic attempt at No True Scotsman.

    These sorts of laws have proven to NOT BE DEALBREAKERS for any Republican so far, or the Republican party would not have morphed into what I call the Fascist Q Party. Until you choose not to be the FQP, that’s what you are. And my sense of this comment is that you are more interested in pretending that your party’s actions are acceptable than you are in actually making it stop taking these actions.

  • Lal
    Apr 20, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    Racism and discrimination are bad right? Yet your discriminating against ALL republicans by assuming they are awful and grotesque! I think most Republicans I know would be against this law as it limits freedoms. Don’t be one more problem, be a solution! I am so tired of the double standards in this world today. Not all Republicans share the same beliefs, just like not all Democrats are socialist marxist.

  • Steve_Tabor
    Apr 21, 2021 at 12:40 am

    It’s hard to get convicted of rioting when Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis and other jurisdictions let rioters go free without bail because they’re “indigent”. I would support the bill if we arrested and convicted these rioters. But it is convictions and jail time that we need, not silly gestures. That and the death penalty, which we will need for arson and assault. But what is really missing is investigation. How can these people riot again and again, all year, without an organization (China?, Soros?) paying them? The media and government are acting like these rioters just spring up like poisonous mushrooms after every Spring rain. It’s time to get serious about these people. They are the Nazis of our time.

  • Lal
    Apr 20, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    Why not just charge them with the crime they commit. Why do we need new legislation on top of what we already have in place? Its already a criminal offensive. For example battery, disturbing the peace, intoxicated in public, rioting. Why more definitions? Thats what Im confused about. Why wouldn’t they just make the actual crimes make you ineligible for student loans? There are already a number of crimes that make you ineligible.

  • Lal
    Apr 20, 2021 at 8:46 pm

    Your already ineligible for commiting crimes this law needs more definition! Its not illegal to protest but it is illegal to burn down a building or fight in the street those offenses in themselves could make you ineligible for student loans so why the need for a bill? If you are disturbing the peace why not just get a disturbing the peace charge? So confused? And is protesting disturbing the peace if your doing it lawfully? More details more details.

  • Enn Arre
    Apr 20, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    The actual problem here is the “creeping” of what constitutes peaceful protesting.
    It seems some think that throwing of rocks, or bottles, crossing blockades, blocking traffic, disrupting residents all hours of the evening, breaking and entering, and looting are included. Are those acts peaceful?
    The KEY words here are “disorderly” and “convicted”. First, there has to be disorder, then an arrest and then a conviction. If someone wrongfully arrested they will have a day in court to explain it.

  • ReneGadeTexican
    Apr 20, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    Absolutely. All attackers of any federal government offices deserve federal incarceration. Especially if violence is executed. I actually seen existing laws not enforced.
    Great idea for DC Portland Seattle NYC and other fiery but mostly peaceful protests.

  • Kate
    Apr 20, 2021 at 8:31 am

    The problem is the “creeping” of what constitutes a crime.
    Florida is passing an anti-riot law that says a riot is disorderly conduct with 3 more more people that MAY cause injury or property damage.
    Isn’t that ANY gathering of people?
    It’s not so easy to say “don’t commit a crime” when by the letter of the law, you accidentally tripping your friend at a protest and them breaking their wrist in the fall is a felony.

  • Enn Arre
    Apr 19, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    Key words here are “commit a crime” at protest…..don’t commit a crime no problem! This does not affect the ability to peacefully protest lawfully.

  • wehrlybird00
    Apr 19, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    Let’s start with those insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol 1/6. And let’s add those who are members of any hate group or “militia.” Uff da – that last one would dump more than half of recipients off welfare and disability.

  • wehrlybird00
    Apr 19, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    Let’s start with those insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol 1/6. And let’s add those who are members of any hate group or “militia.” Uff da – that last one would dump more than half of recipients off welfare and disability.

  • Billy Joe Jim Bob ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ
    Apr 19, 2021 at 1:29 pm

    “Other forms of state financial aid, including food stamps, rent assistance and unemployment benefits, are also in the bill.”

    Sounds about typical for your average “pro-life” Republican.

  • Greg Garnto
    Apr 19, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    Greatest thing I ever heard. A thug criminal should be treated as such.

  • Keith
    Apr 19, 2021 at 3:11 pm

    Great idea, and a good opportunity for compromise. Strip student loans and other government aid from protestors who are convicted of crimes, and strip cops of same if they are convicted of crimes. Seems reasonable.

  • Bubonic Duck
    Apr 19, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    Don’t they already take away criminals constitutional rights?

  • Li
    Apr 19, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    That would be Unconstitutional .
    First Amendment and all …

  • thorthorson
    Apr 19, 2021 at 6:00 am

    Sounds like a great opportunity for a counter-proposal to strip qualified immunity from departments that have any officers found guilty of either criminal or civil excessive force.

    These cops won’t learn some responsibility until their buddy costs them their pensions.

  • Katie B
    Apr 19, 2021 at 10:35 am

    It’s April 19. There are 28 days until the end of the legislative session – this was introduced to be performatively awful, not to actually pass.

    That said: The Republicans are awful people. This is grotesque.

  • Betty Poo
    Apr 19, 2021 at 8:49 am

    Minnesota has become exceptionally embarassing this past year.

  • Iamsavvy
    Apr 19, 2021 at 3:40 am

    Racists doing racist things what’s new