In my 1st term from 2020 - 2022, I supported many bills, but put all of my effort towards getting the following two passed.
HB4600 creates it to be a crime of abuse of a disabled child by a caregiver or person in position of trust, enhances penalties for crimes involving bodily injury or death, and creates a new crime for failure to report abuse of a disabled child or preventing another from making such a report.
The bill is addressing the issue that disabled children, as our most vulnerable citizens, must be protected from abuse by those persons entrusted with their care. Many times, disabled children are powerless to react to victimization, and their disabilities can impair their ability to recognize or report the abuse. The bill not only creates criminal penalties for the actual abuse, but it penalizes the act of witnessing abuse and knowingly failing to report the abuse, or knowingly preventing other from reporting the abuse. While we would hope that no one would ever commit an act of abuse against a disabled child or fail to report such abuse, this bill is providing the appropriate tools for a prosecuting attorney to adequately seek punishment for such actions in which disabled children are victimized.
As a first time legislator to bring a bill into existence is amazing, but to have all green-votes in both Chambers and being signed into law by the Governor is a huge accomplishment of all the people involved. Thanks be to the parents Beth and Craig Bowden, Allison Bungard, the bill-writers, the councils, the Chairs of the committees, the citizens that made calls/emailed, the list goes on and on. There are so many people involved and it is a lot of work to get the word out: The bill is coming, this is what it supposed to accomplish, will you support it?
We got it, IT IS LAW!