PRINTER'S NO.  1846

  

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA

  

SENATE RESOLUTION

 

No.

250

Session of

2011

  

  

INTRODUCED BY WARD, VANCE, SCARNATI, PILEGGI, FONTANA, GREENLEAF, TOMLINSON, SCHWANK, BAKER, PIPPY, ERICKSON, WAUGH, D. WHITE, BRUBAKER, ARGALL, FERLO, PICCOLA, MENSCH, RAFFERTY, YAW, VOGEL, GORDNER, STACK, YUDICHAK, EICHELBERGER AND ALLOWAY, DECEMBER 12, 2011

  

  

REFERRED TO AGING AND YOUTH, DECEMBER 12, 2011  

  

  

  

A RESOLUTION

  

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Establishing the Task Force on Child Protection.

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WHEREAS, The General Assembly finds and declares as follows:

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(1)  Recent events require a review of laws and

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procedures relating to the reporting of child abuse and the

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protection of the health and safety of children.

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(2)  A review of these laws and procedures will help to

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ensure that the Commonwealth is able to adequately protect

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its children.

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(3)  It is the responsibility of the Commonwealth to

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protect its citizens, particularly children.

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(4)  Therefore, the General Assembly shall establish a

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task force to conduct a thorough and comprehensive review to:

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(i)  ascertain any inadequacies relating to the

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mandatory reporting of child abuse; and

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(ii)  restore public confidence in the ability of the

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Commonwealth to protect the victims of child abuse;

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therefore be it

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RESOLVED, That the Task Force on Child Protection be

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established; and be it further

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RESOLVED, That the task force consist of the following

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members, appointed within 25 days after the adoption of this

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resolution by both chambers:

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(1)  Six members knowledgeable and experienced in issues

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relating to child abuse or providing services to victims of

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child abuse as follows:

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(i)  Three members appointed by the President pro

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tempore of the Senate, in consultation with the Majority

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Leader and the Minority Leader of the Senate. A member

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under this subparagraph may be a member of the Senate.

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(ii)  Three members appointed by the Speaker of the

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House of Representatives, in consultation with the

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Majority Leader and the Minority Leader of the House of

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Representatives. A member under this subparagraph may be

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a member of the House of Representatives.

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(2)  Four members appointed by the Governor as follows:

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(i)  One member shall be a member of the general

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public.

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(ii)  One member shall be a member of a victim

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organization or a children and youth services

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organization who is directly involved in providing

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services to victims of child abuse.

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(iii)  One member experienced in the operation and

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interaction between a county children and youth agency

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and the Commonwealth.

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(iv)  A district attorney.

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(3)  The Secretary of Public Welfare or a designee who

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shall be an employee of the department. The designee shall be

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appointed in writing, and a copy shall be submitted to the

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chairman of the task force;

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and be it further

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RESOLVED, That the Governor select the chairperson of the

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task force; and be it further

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RESOLVED, That the task force conduct its business as

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follows:

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(1)  The physical presence of six members constitutes a

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quorum of the task force.

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(2)  Action of the task force shall be authorized or

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ratified by majority vote of its members.

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(3)  A member not physically present may participate by

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teleconference or video conference.

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(4)  The following shall apply:

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(i)  The task force shall meet as necessary but no

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fewer than five times prior to September 30, 2012.

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Additional meetings may be called by the chairperson as

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necessary.

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(ii)  The chairperson shall schedule a meeting upon

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written request of eight members of the task force.

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(iii)  The first meeting shall be convened within 45

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days.

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(iv)  The task force shall hold public hearings as

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necessary to obtain the information required to conduct

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its review.

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(v)  The Department of Public Welfare, the Joint

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State Government Commission and the Juvenile Courts

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Judges' Commission shall cooperate to provide

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administrative or other assistance to the task force.

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(vi)  Members shall not receive compensation but

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shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses

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incurred in service of the task force;

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and be it further

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RESOLVED, That the task force have the following powers:

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(1)  To examine and analyze the practices, processes and

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procedures relating to the response to child abuse.

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(2)  To review and analyze law, procedures, practices and

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rules relating to the reporting of child abuse.

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(3)  To hold public hearings for the taking of testimony

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and the requesting of documents.

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(4)  The chairperson shall have the power to administer

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oaths and affirmations to witnesses appearing before the task

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force;

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and be it further

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RESOLVED, That the task force have the following duties:

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(1)  To accept and review written comments from

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individuals and organizations.

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(2)  To make, by November 30, 2012, a final report to the

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Governor, the Senate and the House of Representatives.

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(3)  Based on its review, the report under paragraph (2)

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shall include recommendations:

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(i)  To improve the reporting of child abuse.

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(ii)  To implement any necessary changes in State

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statutes and practices, policies and procedures relating

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to child abuse.

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(iii)  To train appropriate individuals in the

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reporting of child abuse.

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(4)  To make reports as follows:

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(i)  The task force may file status reports and

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updates with the Governor and the Senate and the House of

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Representatives as it deems appropriate.

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(ii)  A report under this paragraph shall be adopted

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at a public meeting.

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(iii)  A report under this paragraph shall be a

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public record under the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6,

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No.3), known as the Right-to-Know Law;

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and be it further

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RESOLVED, That the task force expire December 31, 2012.

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