Lawmaker files ‘Jared Kushner Act’ to limit tenant arrests
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A Maryland lawmaker has sponsored the “Jared Kushner Act,” a bill that would prevent state judges from issuing arrest warrants for tenants who are being sued for less than $5,000 in unpaid rent.
Del. Bilal Ali, a Baltimore Democrat, said Wednesday he named the bill after President Donald Trump’s son-in-law because Kushner’s apartment management company was the state’s most aggressive landlord in obtaining civil arrest warrants against tenants.
“I think that people have a right to know who’s dragging them off to jail,” Ali said. “I mean, he has to take ownership for that.”
Christine Taylor, a spokeswoman for Kushner Cos., said the company’s local counsel in Maryland handled matters consistent with other attorneys in similar situations in the state and in accordance with Maryland law. The arrest warrants are known as “body attachments,” and Taylor noted that they are not issued by a court unless there is a failure to abide by two court orders.
Ali said he filed the bill to protect his constituents. Four other Democrats in the Maryland House of Delegates are co-sponsors.
“My thoughts around this particular bill were that a lot of my constituents were being penalized because they were poor, and we’ve always had these regressive policies that have always impacted poor people,” Ali said.
Taylor said the bill was politically motivated.
“For a couple of local politicians to sponsor a bill called the Jared Kushner Act when neither Kushner Companies nor Jared Kushner, when he worked at Kushner Companies, had anything to do with these issues is petty,” Taylor said.
Kushner stepped down as CEO of Kushner Cos. before becoming an adviser last year to the president. Garden apartment complexes in Baltimore are owned by Westminster Management, a subsidiary of Kushner Cos.
Kushner has sold off some real estate investments in the family company since joining the White House. A financial disclosure report released in July said he still owns a stake in Westminster Management. The report showed he received $1.6 million in income from the holding.