Lawmaker proposes bill to expand child abuse reporting

In light of the Penn State University sex abuse controversy, a state lawmaker wants to clarify and expand Minnesota’s reporting requirements.

Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, plans to introduce a bill doing that in the legislative session beginning Jan.24. He wants it clear that coaches and others who deal with youths must report improper contact to police.

“The current law is ambiguous at best and contains dangerous loopholes at worst,” Winkler said. “There is no more heinous crime than robbing the innocence of a young child. We need to ensure that this law is clear and fulfilling its purpose of protecting children.”

Winkler’s bill would require anyone who knows or should believe that a child is being abused or neglected to report it. Under current law, only some professionals must report.

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