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Nov. 19, 2017
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Minutes for HB2048 - Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice

Short Title

School district plan addressing child sexual abuse; establishing Erin's law.

Minutes Content for Thu, Feb 2, 2017

Natalie Scott gave an overview of HB2048.

The Committee had questions and comments.

Jayme Morris-Hardeman, Director of Finance, on behalf of the Children's Advocacy Center of Kansas testified in support of HB2048. Morris-Hardeman stated education under Erin's Law will give children who have been abused both the words and a safe space to tell a trusted adult what has occurred in their lives and give the adults the tools to appropriately respond to a child's disclosure as well as report the disclosure to child protective services and law enforcement. (Attachment 1)

Diana Schunn, Executive Director, on behalf of the Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County testified in support of HB2048. Schunn stated the passing of this legislation will bring awareness to how and when these cases are handled locally and across the state to ensure that victims are protected in the best way possible. (Attachment 2)

Taylor Freburg a Victim Advocate on behalf of Western Kansas Child Advocacy Center testified in support of HB2048. Freburg stated Erin's Law will address tactics utilized by the perpetrators in our communities. (Attachment 3)

Vicki Hubin, Project Coordinator with Western Kansas Child Advocacy Center testified in support of HB2048. Hubin stated awareness is one of the keys to stopping child abuse. (Attachment 4)

Mark Desetti testified in support of HB2048 on behalf of the Kansas National Education Association. Desetti stated that to save just one child from sexual abuse because a school administrator, a teacher, a paraprofessional, or the custodian was the one to first notice and report the signs, then the effort was well worth the time and investment. (Attachment 5)

Written only proponent testimonies were submitted by Joyce Grover and Jessica Nasternak on behalf of the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (Attachment 6); Kelly Robbins on behalf of Western Kansas Child Advocacy Center (Attachment 7); and Erin Merryn (Attachment 8).

The Committee had questions and comments.

Leah Fliter testified in a neutral position of HB2048 on behalf of the Kansas Association of School Boards with recommendations. Fliter suggested the Committee work with the Board and Department of Education to determine how best to encourage these efforts without undue additional cost or regulations. (Attachment 9)

Jim Porter, Chair, on behalf of the Kansas State Department of Education testified in a neutral position of HB2048. Porter stated that there may be unintended consequences from the bill and that the State Board is ready to work on this issue. (Attachment 10)

Cherie Blanchat on behalf of the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) and the Technical Assistance System Network (TASN) testified in a neutral position of HB2048. Blanchat fully recognized the importance of addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and are actively working to support children impacted by ACEs through cross-system collaboration and comprehensive, multi-tier systems of supports, Blanchat will provide written testimony to the Committee. (Attachment 11)

G.A. Buie, Executive Director, on behalf of the United School Administrators of Kansas and the Kansas School Superintendents Association testified in a neutral position of HB2048. Buie state the concerns his organizations have with he bill are the intended audience and the appropriate implementation of a quality program. (Attachment 12)

Dona Booe testified in a neutral position of HB2048 on behalf of the Kansas Children's Service League with reservations. Booe suggested the Committee consider, as many other States have done, creating a task force to study options and provide recommendations on meaningful ways to improve Kansas efforts to educate and inform the public on this important topic. (Attachment 13)

Christie Appelhanz, Executive Director, on behalf of the Children's Alliance of Kansas testified in opposition of HB2048. Applehanz requested instead of a once-a-year talk in classrooms, they asked the Committee to consider, as many other states have done, creating a task force to study options and provide recommendations on meaningful ways to prevent child sexual abuse and exploitation. (Attachment 14)

The Committee had questions and comments.

Chairperson Jennings spoke to the Committee about the need for this bill and he will bring an amendment when the Committee works HB2048.

Chairperson Jennings adjourned the meeting.