Politics

Kansas lawmakers weigh two bills that would make it harder for police to seize cash and property

Lawmakers in Kansas are considering a pair of civil asset forfeiture bills that would significantly affect the ability of police to seize cash, vehicles and other property they believe is connected to a crime.

The first bill, HB2648, would require a criminal conviction before the seizure of any crime-related assets from an individual. The second bill, HB2640, creates a new procedure for seizing and forfeiting an individual’s property to the government for property valued at less than $100,000. It would also bar the seizure of cash under $200, and vehicles valued at $2,000 or less.

Currently, law enforcement can seize property from people who have not yet been convicted of a crime, and even people who are acquitted can still lose their property in civil asset forfeiture. The practice has come under more public scrutiny recently, as the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana makes the seizure of cash more legally complex in many places. 

Officials say the current civil asset forfeiture process acts as an effective deterrent for would-be criminals. KBI officer Robert Jacobs testified that the current laws “deter and prevent criminal activity by taking proceeds away from those conducting criminal enterprises.”

Jacobs also testified that the proceeds from asset forfeiture help fund law enforcement. “…Law enforcement struggles with funding” and “forfeiture revenue is used to supplement law enforcement operation,” Jacobs said.

ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: CJONLINE.COM

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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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