Greetings from the Capitol!
On Wednesday, the bill (House File 2621) I introduced last week that would hold Minnesota parents/guardians liable for the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) passed the Civil Law and Data Practices Committee unanimously on Wednesday. House File 2621 would establish a criminal penalty of a felony, 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.
If you feel so inclined, I would recommend listening to the bill’s public testifier: Farhio Khalif, a victim of genital mutilation. As you can probably imagine, she told one of the most powerful and saddening stories that I have ever heard in my life. Begin listening here at the 10:00 minute mark (testimony includes very sensitive subjects and graphic language).
Even though the deadlines for committees has passed, the Committee on Rules and Legislative Administration provided a waiver on Thursday of Joint Rules 2.03 regarding deadlines. The bill will be now heard in the Public Safety and Security Committee and it could come to the floor of the House for a vote as soon as next week.
I look forward to discussing this important piece of legislation on the House floor after it finishes traveling through the committee process. I pray that it can then be heard in the Senate, so we can be one step closer to further criminalizing this heinous act.
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