June 23, 2003

Senate Bill 383: Making Pastors Report Child Abuse

Senator John T. "Tom" Schedler (R), District 11.

This bill would forces priests, pastors, and other religious workers to report suspicions of child abuse with a narrow exception for information obtained during confession/reconciliation.

03/26/2003 Prefiled.
03/26/2003 To Senate Committee on Judiciary A.
04/15/2003 Reported from committee with amendments.
04/16/2003 Read by title, committee amendments read and adopted. Ordered engrossed and passed to a third reading.
04/24/2003 Read by title. Returned to the calendar subject to call.
04/24/2003 Read by title. Returned to the calendar subject to call.
05/07/2003 Amended on Senate Floor.
05/07/2003 Ordered Reengrossed.
05/07/2003 Passed Senate. To House.
05/08/2003 Received in the House from the Senate, rules suspended, read by title.
05/12/2003 Read by title, under the rules, referred to the Committee on Civil Law & Procedure.
05/19/2003 Discharged from the Committee on Civil Law & Procedure.
05/19/2003 Read by title, recommitted to the Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice.
06/05/2003 Reported favorably (9-0).
06/22/2003 Roll called on final passage, yeas 91, nays 0. Finally passed, ordered to the Senate.
06/23/2003 Received from the House with amendments.
06/23/2003 Amendments proposed by the House read and concurred in, 36 yeas and 0 nays.
06/23/2003 The 2003 Regular Session of the legislature adjourned. Since SB 383 passed both houses, it will become law unless vetoed.

Action Requested:

HSLDA's Position:
Oppose. This bill is part of a nationwide trend to force every priest, pastor, or other religious worker to become a "mandatory reporter" of child abuse. This is an overreaction to the scandals currently rocking the Roman Catholic Church.

The first draft of this bill would have required every pastor to report abuse, without any exceptions. When homeschoolers contacted the Senate Committee on Judiciary A, they amended the bill to preserve the right of priests and pastors to not report "confidential communications." This is a step in the right direction, but the bill is still "overkill."

 Other Resources

4/14/2003 - Louisiana--Homeschoolers Defeat Dangerous School Records Bill

Bill Text

Bill History