Missouri's House joins the debate over mandatory reporting
MDN Menu
MDN.ORG Mo. Digital News Missouri Digital News MDN.ORG: Mo. Digital News MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News

Missouri's House joins the debate over mandatory reporting

Date: February 22, 2012
By: Stacey Kafka
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: 
After last year's fallout at Penn State, The Missouri House looks to tighten mandatory reporting laws.
RunTime:  0:37
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The House Committee on Children and Families heard testimony over a bill expanding mandatory reporting laws in child abuse cases.

St. Louis Representative Marsha Haefner sponsors the bill.

She says right now most people aren't required to be mandatory reporters.

Actuality:  HAEFNER1.WAV
Run Time:  00:15
Description: "If you have the witness or the first person to suspect it to be the one testifying in court. It would be a much better chance to have a successful prosecution or exoneration as opposed to I heard someone say, who told me, who told me and then I report it."


The Senate debated a similar bill on the floor Monday.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Stacey Kafka.

Intro: 
After last year's fallout at Penn State, The Missouri House joins the debate over tightening mandatory reporting laws.
RunTime:  0:41
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: This bill would make anyone who sees child abuse a mandatory reporter. 

Representative Jeanette Oxford says domestic violence victims should be excluded from the consequences of not reporting child abuse. 

Actuality:  OXFORD1.WAV
Run Time:  00:15
Description: "Being in mandatory reporting you're also risking your life. We've got domestic violence cases all over the place where there's a person that cannot with the fear of their own personal safety be held as a mandatory reporter."


This bill does not include any provisions on domestic violence cases.

The punishment for not reporting child abuse would be a Class A misdemeanor which could mean up to a year in jail. 

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Stacey Kafka.

Intro: 
After last year's fallout at Penn State, Missouri's House joins the debate over tightening mandatory reporting laws.
RunTime:  0:41
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The House Committee on Children and Families heard testimony over a bill expanding mandatory reporting on child abuse.

Representative Mike McGhee says reporting abuse shouldn't just be required for those who see child abuse.

Actuality:  MCGHEE.WAV
Run Time:  00:20
Description: "It just says child, I'm sure there's a problem...my mother's in a nursing home with Alzheimer's and if someone were to abuse her is the situation the same? You go up that ladder from one manager to another manager to another manager, do you think that word child needs to be taken out?"


Bill sponsor Marsha Haefner says for now this bill only applies to child abuse cases.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Stacey Kafka.


Missouri Digital News is produced by Missouri Digital News, Inc. -- a non profit organization of current and former journalists.