This policy would make it illegal for a non-profit organization to operate a community bail fund.
The Bail Abatement and Non-Profit Exclusion Act, or the so-called “BANE Act,” is facially unconstitutional and would prevent thousands of Minnesotans from accessing their right to bail guaranteed in both the U.S. and Minnesota constitutions. SF 4177/HF4252 are publicity bills intended to score political points and turn the constitutional right to bail into a scapegoat for broader failures to address the root causes of crime. Not only will this legislation not improve public safety for Minnesotans, it wastes legislative time and resources that could be devoted to seeking real solutions. The cartoonish, publicity-seeking bill title and its acronym “BANE” make clear the authors’ intentions to “abate” – that is, to limit or to end – the constitutional right to bail for people who cannot afford it; to exclude non-profits like MFF from organizing mutual aid and engaging in protected speech; and to maliciously and falsely cast people who haven’t been convicted of a crime — or in many cases even accused of one — as inherently violent and dangerous.
Our opponents are happy to allow wealthy individuals to pay their bail when accused of crimes. They’re also happy for people with fewer resources to pay bails using for-profit bail bondsmen, who prey on Black, brown, and Indigenous communities, violate clients’ rights, and keep 10% of the bail amount for themselves. That’s how you know this bill is not about public safety, but is instead a bad faith attempt to criminalize poverty and derail efforts to level the playing field.
Gene Dornink (R), Andrew Mathews (R), Jeff R. Howe (R), Bill Lieske (R)