ST. PAUL, MN—The Minnesota House voted unanimously 130-0 today to pass House File 8, legislation intended to improve Minnesota’s child protection system. The bill, chief authored by Assistant Majority Leader Rep. Ron Kresha, R-Little Falls, stems from recommendations made by Governor Dayton’s Task Force on Child Protection, which was convened last summer to address failings in Minnesota’s child protection system. Rep. Kresha and DFL Rep. Joe Mullery, DFL-Minneapolis, serve on the Task Force representing their respective caucuses. Rep. Mullery is a co-author of House File 8.
“This bill is a first step in making sure Minnesota’s child protection system is accomplishing its goal of keeping children out of harm’s way,” Rep. Kresha said. “Almost every issue I have worked on at the Legislature starts with children; it is imperative that these young citizens have the opportunity to reach their potential.”
The bill contains two provisions; the first places child health and safety as the paramount concern when making child protection decisions. It also reverses a law passed last year that barred consideration of screened-out reports when investigating abuse reports.
“Protecting children is a top priority for Minnesotans. This is a small but necessary effort to cure the many problems,” added Rep. Mullery. “We must resolve to overcome the system’s resistance to changing procedures which allowed serious abuse, and must overcome the reluctance to fund necessary protections.”
The Senate is expected to pass the companion to House File 8, Senate File 807, within the next week.