Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Child safety bill heading to governor’s office

A bill that would allow child day cares to receive prescriptions for EpiPen while also giving parents more time to legally surrender their newborn under the state’s safe harbor law has received final passage in the House.

The expanded safe harbor provisions were added to House Bill 148 by the Senate, which also retained the bill’s original provisions to allow day cares to receive prescriptions for EpiPen, an epinephrine auto-injector used to treat life-threatening allergies.

“This bill is for protection for our day cares. What we wanted to do is for the EpiPen to be available just in case there were to be an emergency situation,” said HB 148 sponsor Rep. Linda Belcher, D-Shepherdsville.

As for the safe harbor provisions, HB 148 would amend Kentucky’s Safe Infants Act by giving parents up to 30 days instead of the current three to legally give up their newborn at a state-approved safe place if the parent feels they cannot keep the child. Safe places include fire stations, hospitals, police stations and EMS personnel; places of worship would be added to the list under HB 148.

A bill with similar safe-harbor provisions passed the House by a vote of 92-0 in January. That bill, HB 97, was sponsored by House Health and Welfare Chair Rep. Tom Burch, D-Louisville.

Kentucky’s Safe Infants Act was named in honor of Burch when it was passed in 2002.

HB 148 as amended passed the House by a vote of 99-0 and now goes to the governor for his signature.