FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 21st, 2015
Erin’s Law Denied Again
Senate Democrats deprived of opportunity to offer amendment, Erin’s Law continues to languish
JUNEAU – Today the Senate reconsidered HB 180, an act establishing an Alaska children’s day in June. The bill’s sponsor supported adding language enacting Erin’s Law, but a motion to return to 2nd reading for purposes of offering the amendment was denied on procedural grounds.
Erin’s law passed the Alaska Senate unanimously last year. Four iterations of the bill were introduced this session. Multiple hearings have been held on various versions of the law in both the House and Senate. Meanwhile, an estimated 1,600 reports of harm involving child sexual abuse have been received by the Office of Children Services since the school year started, an average of ten a day.
“These children cannot wait for help while the legislature dithers. Childhood abuse statistics in our state are shameful. How many children will be harmed while the legislature fails to act? Every one of those children waits for help. Erin’s Law is that help,” stated Senator Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage).
Erin’s Law teaches children in an age appropriate manner about safe touch, healthy secrets, and how to identify a safe person to tell. Alaska would be the 22nd state to pass a version of Erin’s Law.
For more information contact Senator Gardner at (907) 465-4068.