Senators Debate Child Abuse Reporting Bill
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Senators Debate Child Abuse Reporting Bill

Date: February 20, 2012
By: Matt Evans
State Capitol Bureau
Links: SB 457

Intro: 
After the Jerry Sandusky hearings, Missouri State Senators are debating a bill that would revamp the state's child abuse reporting laws. Under the bill, anyone over the age of 18 would have to report child abuse or face criminal charges.
RunTime:  0:48
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Extended debate delayed a vote on the bill on the Senate floor.

Under the bill, anyone 18 or older who witnesses a child being sexually abused must report it to law enforcement. 

If they don't they could face misdemeanor charges and up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Several state Senators voiced concerns that the bill goes too far - including Republican Senator Luann Ridgeway.

She says there aren't other laws in Missouri that punish people so harshly for witnessing a crime.

Actuality:  RIDGE2.WAV
Run Time:  00:08
Description: "So we're telling people in the state of Missouri that you can watch somebody being murdered and you won't get charged with any crime for not coming forward on that."

Senators placed the bill on the informal calender and the Senate floor leader says he's not sure when the bill will be taken up again.

Reporting from the state Capitol. Matt Evans. Newsradio 1120 KMOX.

Intro: 
Missouri Senators are debating whether to revamp the state's child abuse reporting laws in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State. Under the proposed bill, anyone over the age of 18 would be required by law to report child sex abuse.
RunTime:  0:46
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The Senate did not reach a vote on the bill because of extended debate from several members.

The bill would require those 18 and older to report any act of child sex abuse they witness.

If they don't, they could face misdemeanor charges and up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

St. Louis County Republican Senator Eric Schmitt sponsors the bill.

He says legislation is needed to make sure the Penn State scandal doesn't happen in Missouri.

Actuality:  SCHMITT1.WAV
Run Time:  00:08
Description: "Look, I don't think it's good enough. I don't think it's good enough to tell my boss I saw a kid being raped. I don't think that's good enough."

Senators placed the bill on the informal calender and the Senate floor leader says he's not sure when the bill will be taken up again.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Matt Evans. Newsradio 1120 KMOX.

Intro: 
Some Missouri Senators say a revamp of the state's child sex abuse reporting laws is in order to prevent a scandal like the one at Penn State. Under a proposed bill, anyone over the age of 18 who witnesses a child being sexually abused could face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine if they don't report it.
RunTime:  0:36
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The Senate didn't vote on the bill because of extended debate.

Some Senators say the bill has gone too far and would cause unintended consequences for families.

But St. Louis County Republican Senator Eric Schmitt sponsors the bill and says Missouri needs stricter reporting laws.

Actuality:  SCHMITT1.WAV
Run Time:  00:08
Description: "Look, I don't think it's good enough. I don't think it's good enough to tell my boss I saw a kid being raped. I don't think that's good enough."

Senators placed the bill on the informal calender and the Senate floor leader says he's not sure when the bill will be taken up again.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Matt Evans. Newsradio 1120 KMOX.


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