ST. PAUL, MN -- House File 2621, authored by Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria), that would hold Minnesota parents/guardians liable for the practice of female genital mutilation ("FGM") passed the Civil Law and Data Practices Committee on Wednesday.
“Today’s hearing makes a significant step towards further criminalizing this heinous act. Despite some pushback from other lawmakers, the bill passed the committee unanimously,” said Franson.
House File 2621 would establish a criminal penalty of a felony and punishable up to 5 years in prison for a parent or guardian who knowingly consents to female genital mutilation of a child. The bill would also require that FGM be classified as a mandatory reporting act of child abuse.
Even though the deadlines for committees has passed, the Committee on Rules and Legislative Administration can provide a waiver of Joint Rules 2.03 regarding deadlines. The Committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday to provide a waiver. The bill will then proceed to the Public Safety and Security Committee and could come to the floor of the House for a vote as soon as next week.
“I look forward to discussing this important legislation on the House floor after it travels through the committee process,” Franson continued. “This bill has a real chance to be signed into law this year.”