(The Intercept) A new bill introduced by seven Pennsylvania Republican state lawmakers could force protesters arrested at demonstrations to pay for police overtime and other fees related to the action.
The bill, SB 754, has been introduced by Rep. Scott Martin of Lancaster County; his district has been the site of anti-pipeline protests aimed at the Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline.
Under the terms of the bill, “a person is responsible for public safety response costs incurred by a State agency or political subdivision as a result of the State agency’s or political subdivision’s response to a demonstration if, in connection with the demonstration, the person is convicted of a felony or misdemeanor offense.”
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In other words, they could be on the hook for costs, such as police overtime, medical or emergency response, or other basic public services associated with protests. Whatever felony or misdemeanor offense the protester was convicted of would come with its own independent penalty.