The Minnesota House of Representatives debated the Public Safety Omnibus Finance bill Tuesday, and a Mankato lawmaker says he does not support the legislation – which has traditionally seen bipartisan support in the past.
DFL Representative Jack Considine is a member of the House Public Safety Finance Committee and says an amendment to the bill concerning protests that involve public infrastructure – like pipelines — is too far-reaching. “If you were to meet with somebody and, say, talk about joining a group that would later protest you could be arrested as somebody that helped incite this problem,” he explained.
And he added that it would punish peaceful protesters for the actions of others, which, “Would have a chilling effect on people that had legitimate concerns and were trying to organize a protest that might have nothing to do with something that some rogue individual might do at a later date.”
Considine says lawmakers should be looking at more constructive additions to the bill, like reducing recidivism by removing barriers for families to visit loved ones in correctional facilities and more adequately ensuring the safety of correctional officers.