A trio of state lawmakers in Minnesota yesterday announced plans to legislate a crackdown on illegal robocalls, which would enhance consumer protections, stiffen penalties for those found to be placing robocalls, and require telecom companies to offer call-blocking technology for free to their customers.
The lawmakers — Rep. Zack Stephenson, House Commerce Chair Laurie Halverson, and State House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler — are all members of the Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party.
Rep. Stephenson said at a news conference yesterday that the legislation will be introduced next year. In the event a robocall leads to identity theft or some form of scheme, the perpetrator would face felony charges, Rep. Stephenson said, who added he wants the legislation to be the nation’s toughest anti-robocall law.
“The technology already exists to block these spoofed calls before they ever reach your phone,” he said, according to a published report. “We just need to make sure this technology is working to the benefit of every Minnesotan.”
The state Attorney General and Department of Commerce would also be given more power and more tools to go after those making robocalls to individuals in Minnesota. The average Minnesotan has received 58 robocalls so far this year, according to the report.
Legislators in Minnesota will return to work on Feb. 11, 2020. Rep. Stephenson said he would be working with state Republicans on a similar bill in the state Senate.