Senate Bill 341 passed last week also. This piece of legislation contains two of my priorities from our Joint Committee hearings. It allows the Office of Child Advocate to send a taskforce to any county that has had three or more review requests in a year’s time of children's division, juvenile office, or the guardian ad lidem process. The job of the taskforce is to review the procedures with the goal of improving the delivery of services and efficiency of the procedures and processes. Their findings and recommendations will then be forwarded to the Children's Division and the Office of State courts Administrator. Also included in SB 341 is my HB 713, which deals with reports of child sexual abuse committed by juveniles. With this legislation, if a hotline report is received where a person under 14 years of age allegedly committed sexual abuse against another younger child, the children's division must immediately communicate the report to the appropriate local office where a family assessment and services approach to the allegation is required. Addressing youth with problem sexual behaviors allows early intervention that can curb a lifetime of sexual abuse problems.
I had the honor of attending a luncheon and awards ceremony for Alberta Anders and 24 other recipients of the Lieutenant Governor's Senior Service Award. She was presented an official declaration and a Senior Service Award lapel pin by Lieutenant Governor Kinder. I was privileged to introduce her and Barbara Williams on the House Floor earlier in the day. Alberta told my assistant Elaine and I that Barbara was her Chauffer for the trip! It was a fun time for all of us.
The last week of session is upon us and there are still some great moments ahead. I expect that we will try to override the Governor's veto on unemployment reform and we still have the possibility of the Senate passing my Right to Work bill. I'll let you know the outcome next time, until then I am and remain in your service.