Update on Sen. Mary Jane Garcia’s child abuse prevention package

Posted: January 28, 2011 in Uncategorized
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This from a news release sent out Thursday updating the progress of a five-bill child abuse prevention package being pushed this session by Senate Majority Whip Mary Jane Garcia (D-Doña Ana):

SANTA FE, NM (January 27, 2011) – This afternoon in the Senate Public Affairs Committee, Senate Majority Whip Mary Jane Garcia (D-Dona Ana) presented three of the five bills that comprise her child abuse prevention package. SB76 and SB79 received a Do Pass from the Committee, while SB62 was tabled.

SB76 requires CYFD and other experts to conduct a study into child abuse problems, recommending prevention methods and reporting back this year. Senator Garcia presented an amendment, adopted by the Committee, to include the graduate social work programs at Highlands and NM State Universities as part of the study group. SB76 now progresses to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

SB79 appropriates $150,000 to CYFD for a child abuse public awareness campaign. Senator Garcia explains the need for the bill: “I want to raise public awareness about child abuse in the same way as we have treated DWI. Every few miles on the highway we see “Report DWI,” and a phone number. This bill will enable us to raise the profile on child abuse in that same manner.”

SB62- Require Family Reporting of Child Abuse was tabled, with Senator Garcia’s consent. She explained: “The intent of this bill was good- to require those with the most intimate access to abusive situations to report what they witness. But advocates have expressed concerns that the bill as it stands would not have that desired effect, and could even worsen the situation. I have withdrawn the bill for this year, and will work to resolve its shortcomings during the interim.”

Senator Garcia’s package of five bills also includes SB77- Child Abuse Incident training for Police, and SB213- Child Abuse as Leaving Kids in Certain Cars. Neither have yet been scheduled for a hearing.

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