DeLissio champions bipartisan support in Children and Youth Committee

HARRISBURG, May 12 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, minority chair of the House Children and Youth Committee, supported two bills during the committee’s second voting meeting held on May 4.

House Bill 253 would establish a task force to focus on the opioid abuse epidemic's impact on children in Pennsylvania. The task force would focus on improving the safety, wellbeing and permanency of substance-exposed infants and other young children affected by their parents' substance abuse disorders.

“I want to thank the maker of the bill for introducing this important piece of legislation. Before the bill is voted on second consideration, I will be proposing the addition of consumers on the task force, perhaps those who have experienced or are experiencing addiction-related issues, in addition to those with professional and other expertise,” said DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila. “Additionally, the task force perhaps should be looking at other addictive substances, in addition to opiates. When it comes to issues like this, the General Assembly is usually reactive, and it would be helpful to our citizens if we could be proactive.”

House Bill 764 would amend the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) to allow employers to hire an employee on a provisional basis on par with the 45-day provisional hiring window that is currently authorized for child care providers. Under this legislation, an employee hired under such circumstances is not allowed to work alone with children until all clearances are received.

“We want to mitigate risk to children. That’s the whole idea of the CPSL,” said DeLissio. “Disparity between child care providers and other providers of children’s services (e.g. camps) does exist. Since the goal of the CPSL is minimizing risk, I hope we can identify how to get clearance results back quicker and ideally, electronically, for those who currently cannot access the system for results in this manner. My affirmative vote was to support this legislation and my goal is to determine if the better ‘fix’ can be put in place before this bill is voted on final passage, thus limiting risk to our children.”

DeLissio said, “Both bills passed out of committee with bipartisan support. There is more work to be done and I am committed to continuing to work with the prime sponsors of both bills.”