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Bill would Fine Parents of Guardians for Child’s Criminal Offenses

A proposal that would allow parents to be fined for their child’s criminal offenses is headed to Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s desk for his approval.

The House approved allowing judges to levy up to $1,000 in fines against parents or legal guardians of children who commit a second criminal offense. The chamber voted 72-24 to send the bill to the governor after it had previously secured support from the similarly Republican-controlled Senate.

Supporters argue the proposal is needed to hold families accountable for their children’s actions. However, Democratic lawmakers warned that the bill unfairly targets working parents who may have limited resources and burdens them with fines that they may be unable to pay.