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The Senate this week unanimously passed a package of six bills aimed at preventing child abuse and protecting children. Stemming from the Jerry Sandusky scandal, the bills are part of a child abuse package recommended by the bipartisan, bicameral Legislative Task Force on Child Protection issued in March of 2013. The task force was created by the General Assembly to thoroughly review state laws and procedures governing child protection and the reporting of child abuse. The measures would:

  • clarify who is required to report suspected child abuse and outline the process for reporting child abuse incidents (Senate Bill 21);
  • increase penalties for failing to report suspected child abuse (Senate Bill 22);
  • change the definition of “perpetrator” to be more encompassing (Senate Bill 23);
  • require medical providers to report additional information (without parental consent) when reporting child abuse to the county agency — and for the county agency to provide information to the medical provider to improve care (Senate Bill 27);
  • establish protections for employees in juvenile detention centers and private residential rehabilitative institutions against false claims of child abuse (Senate Bill 30); and
  • establish “whistleblower” protections to prevent employment discrimination against people who report suspected child abuse (Senate Bill 33).

The bills are now in the House of Representatives.

 

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The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1483, which would place additional notification requirements on those who insure lost, stolen or damaged portable electronic devices.

Under the bill, portable electronics insurers would be required to provide vendor policyholders and their enrolled customers with 60 days notice prior to altering or terminating a policy.

The senate amended the bill to give consumers the option of receiving such insurer notices electronically.

The bill now returns to the House.

 

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