Mar 20, 2018 | By: Clayton Castle

House GOP Toughens Penalties For Protest Damage

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Some Minnesota lawmakers are renewing efforts to punish protest organizers when their event leads to property damage.

The House civil law committee advanced a bill that broadens civil and criminal liabilities for protest groups. Thursday’s vote fell along party lines, with Republicans arguing the bill would help prevent damages.

Critics argued the bill is just an attempt to chill protest.

A related bill increases penalties for protesters who block airports and freeways. The bill, which calls for a year in jail for protesters who are convicted, is headed to the House floor after passing committee last week.

Both measures also advanced last year following months of protests over officer-involved shootings, but didn’t survive budget negotiations.

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