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.

by Samantha Hendrickson

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.