The state House of Representatives Tuesday overwhelmingly approved two pieces of legislation introduced by Rep. Annette Glenn, R-Midland, one protecting children from neglect and the other declaring Sept. 17-23 as “Constitution Week” in Michigan.
Glenn’s first measure, House Bill 5153, removes an inconsistency in state law that sometimes blocks a court’s ability to protect neglected children. Glenn’s bill updates the definition of “neglect” in the state Child Abuse and Neglect Act to match that already found in Michigan’s Child Protection Law.
“The way current law is written, even in cases where children are suffering what everyone would agree is severe neglect, the proper authorities may not be able to step in to protect children from harm,” Glenn said. “The discrepancy between these two state laws could prevent Midland County Probate and Juvenile Court Judge Dorene Allen, for example, from taking steps necessary to protect a child in our community.”
“Aligning these definitions in state law will ensure neglected children in Bay and Midland counties receive all the protection they need and deserve,” she said.
Glenn said the need for updating state law was brought to her attention by the Department of Health and Human Services and Child Protective Services.
Her bill received overwhelming bipartisan support in the House and now advances to the state Senate for further consideration.
The House Tuesday also approved House Resolution 312. Glenn worked with the local 98-year-old John Alden Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution to designate Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week in the state of Michigan, marking the 233rd anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.
“The Constitution and Bill of Rights are the legal guarantee of our God-given rights as citizens of the United States,” Glenn said. “Especially now at a time of strong political disagreement, we should take the opportunity to remind ourselves, and teach our children, about the founding Constitutional principles of individual liberty and limited government which have united all Americans for over two centuries.”