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House Bill 3199: Mandatory Reporting Expanded to Clergy
Rep. James Smith, Jr. (D-72)
This bill adds members of the clergy to those who are required to report child abuse or neglect when such information is received in the "person's professional capacity." The communication privilege between a clergy member and penitent is preserved for "any confidential communication properly entrusted to [the clergy member] in his professional capacity and necessary and proper to enable him to discharge the functions of his office according to the usual course of practice or discipline of his church or religious body." So it is unclear when a member of the clergy would be required to report information of abuse or neglect. HSLDA opposes any effort to weaken the clergy-penitent privilege, because it discourages people from seeking spiritual help for their problems. This bill is essentially the same as House Bill 3138.
This bill was signed by the governor on July 25, 2003.
HSLDA opposed this bill.
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