Republican state Sen. David Osmek authored legislation that would strip government money and freebies from protesters who are arrested. This would include food stamps, rent assistance, unemployment benefits, student loans, and health care. Democrats will insist it’s an attempt by Republicans to stifle free speech, but it isn’t. You do not lose your benefits for exercising your right to free speech, you lose it for committing a crime.
The bill reads in part:
“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.”
This is very important in Minnesota as the Derek Chauvin trial winds down. There will be rioting and looting either way because regardless of whether Chauvin is guilty or not, there are people who need new clothes and the latest iPod from the Apple store, just a broken window away. If you have time to riot, loot and burn, you do not need government handouts, you need a job.
Ahead of the jury deliberations, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) was criticized for appearing to incite violence with her comments:
“We got to stay on the street. And we’ve got to get more active. You’ve got to get more confrontational. You got to make sure that they know we mean business.”
Many called out Waters for the irresponsible comments, but the most damning response came from Judge Peter Cahill, who is presiding over the Chauvin trial. Cahill called the comments “abhorrent” while admonishing lawmakers to be more respectful to the judicial branch in accordance with their oath to defend the Constitution.
“A congresswoman’s opinion really doesn’t matter a whole lot. Anyway,” Cahill said in court.
The Minnesota bill is not likely to pass with Democrats controlling the state House and the governor’s office.