A critical piece of legislation for children – the establishment of a review panel on child fatalities and near fatalities through HB 290 – moved one step closer to becoming law today. This measure – championed by Senator Denton and Representatives Burch and Wayne – will make a real difference in protecting children from dying due to abuse and neglect. It will provide a means to assess what we are doing well and how we can improve our practices. The bill will ensure the panel has access to full, unredacted files and that a report of its findings be released.

Senate changes further strengthen the bill by increasing its independence through oversight by the Legislative Branch of government to ensure an unbiased assessment of the actions of the Executive Branch. This represents progress for Kentucky’s kids and we encourage the Senate to pass the bill this session. In looking ahead, we also challenge lawmakers to find ways next year to further increase the panel’s independence by placing it in a location outside the Executive Branch where no real or perceived bias exists. Thanks to all the members of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee for passing this important bill for Kentucky’s most vulnerable children today.