AUGUSTA – A bill designed to improve communication between state agencies following the deaths of two young girls from alleged abuse is being sponsored by Senate President Michael Thibodeau (R-Waldo). It is one of several child protection bills that will be taken up today in public hearings in front of the Legislature’s Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee.
The legislation, (LD 1921) “An Act To Grant the Department of Health and Human Services Access to Criminal History Information To Achieve the Purposes of the Child and Family Services and Child Protection Act” was submitted by the Governor’s Office. The bill seeks to make the sharing of information more readily accessible between the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Public Safety.
Senate President Thibodeau said, “When the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing, those who are responsible for protecting our children will not be on the same page.
“Similarly, as we saw in both of these cases, neither department knew the full extent of what was taking place in these homes or what measures were being taken to protect these young girls. By granting these two critical departments the ability to have more open lines of communication, we are taking the first step in making sure we do not repeat the mistakes of the past.”
Once the child protection bills have been voted on by the HHS Committee, they will go before the full Legislature which is scheduled to next meet this Thursday, August 30th.”
Attached is Senate President Thibodeau’s full written testimony to the Health and Human Services Committee.”