April 21, 2021
A Minnesota State Senator has introduced legislation that would prohibit anyone convicted of crimes in connection with civil unrest from receiving government benefits like food stamps, unemployment benefits, and student loans.
Senator David Osmek, a Republican, introduced the bill amid months of riots in and around Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd in 2020, and more recently Daunte Wright last week.
The bill reads:
“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, rent and mortgage assistance, supplemental nutrition assistance, unemployment benefits and other employment assistance, Minnesota supplemental aid programs, business grants, medical assistance, general assistance, and energy assistance.”
The bill is unlikely to pass given that the state is heavily Democrat controlled. But it’s not the first bill introduced by Republicans in the wake of ongoing unrest in different parts of the country, and it may spark lawmakers in other parts of the country to act.