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This bill would make all persons, regardless of age, mandatory reporters of child abuse or neglect. Reports would have to be made not only of actual abuse or neglect but also of "conditions or circumstances that would reasonably result in abuse." Persons who fail to make a report would be guilty of a misdemeanor under current law.
This bill is well-intended, but it is much too broad. It would require even children of all ages to make reports of abuse or neglect and subject them to prosecution if they failed to do so. Young children should not be responsible for making a determination of whether abuse or neglect has occurred and then reporting it to authorities.
Another problem with this bill is that it requires reporting something that is not even abuse or neglect. Families will be investigated because someone reported "conditions or circumstances" that in the opinion of the reporter could result in abuse. Persons should be investigated only if there is evidence of actual abuse, not conditions or circumstances that might lead to abuse.
This bill should be opposed.
This bill has been referred to committee. See "Bill History" link below.
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