Friday, February 19, 2010

Bill to open child-abuse death records turned into one for a study that wouldn't be done until 2012

The sponsor of a state House bill that would have required the release of records on children who die from abuse or neglect has amended his proposal to call for more study on the issue instead.

After Rep. Tom Burch of Luisville altered the bill, it passed the House Health and Welfare Committee 13-0. Burch said he was taking into consideration concerns about the bill from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, but that he still supported opening up the records. He told the Lexington Herald-Leader he believes his bill will ultimately lead to more public scrutiny of child-abuse deaths. Kentucky had the highest rate of child death from abuse and neglect in the United States in 2007, according to a study by the advocacy group Every Child Matters Education Fund.

The new version of the bill calls for a panel that would make recommendations by Sept. 30, 2012.

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