1st bill for child-protection law heads to Gov. Dayton

Published 10:45 am Friday, March 13, 2015

ST. PAUL — Child-protection legislation inspired by the maltreatment death of a 4-year-old boy is close to becoming law after unanimous Senate approval.



“Our efforts were not for naught,” Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi said. Amazi is part of a task force making recommendations to the state regarding health and human services cases involving children.

The bill marks the first of what could be several changes from a task force review following Eric Dean’s death. The bill repeals a law preventing social workers from considering past reports of child abuse when deciding whether to investigate new ones. It also clarifies that child safety is paramount in decision-making on claims of abuse of minors.

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Amazi said there are about 40 more recommendations waiting for review after this legislation is enacted.

Gov. Mark Dayton, who ordered the task force, said the legislation will restore an important layer of protection for children.

Dean was killed by his stepmother in 2013 after numerous complaints lodged with county social service failed to prompt action.

The same bill unanimously passed the House weeks ago.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.