A controversial measure to increase penalties for those who block freeways or airports is moving ahead in the Minnesota House as part of a larger public safety bill. It’s spurred by “shut ’em down” protests after police shootings of Jamar Clark and Philando Castile, and Vernon Center Republican Tony Cornish says tougher penalties have 80-percent approval back home. Cornish says, “You go into a local establishment in your home district and you ask people what they think. They think these people should basically be arrested on I-94 or other places like that.” Saint Paul Democrat John Lesch strongly opposes the move. He says, “They accuse you of blocking traffic or something. We’re gonna charge you with a misdemeanor. All it serves to do is intimidate people who want to exercise their free-speech rights.”
Governor Mark Dayton appears to support the bill.