ANNAPOLIS, Md. (March 24, 2011) –Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown released the following statement today commending passage of the O’Malley-Brown administration’s Child Neglect bill by the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates (SB 178/HB 162):
“We are now closer than ever before to eliminating Maryland’s dubious distinction of being the only state in the nation that does not criminalize child neglect. Our primary goal is to address neglect through education and better parenting, but enacting this bill will allow us to bring to justice those adults who commit egregious acts of neglect that put their children at substantial risk of harm. I congratulate the Senate and House of Delegates on passing this legislation, and I look forward to working with the General Assembly to finalize the bill and send it to Governor O’Malley’s desk for his signature.”
In recent weeks, Brown has worked closely with the General Assembly and numerous stakeholders, such as prosecutors, public defenders, doctors, and child and domestic violence advocates to craft a balanced bill that only prosecutes adults who are clearly and egregiously neglecting their children. The Senate voted today to pass their child neglect bill by a vote of 40-7. The House of Delegates passed their legislation unanimously on Wednesday.