Public Comments for: SB1168 - "Abused or neglected child;" definition.
Last Name: Neil Organization: City of Portsmouth Locality: Hampton

We support. Please see prior submitted testimony. Thank you

Last Name: Sherri Organization: City of Portsmouth, VA Locality: Hampton

The City of Portsmouth thanks Senator Lucas for sponsoring this bill. The problematic definitional differences in two subsections of the VA Code (VA Code Section 16.1-228 and VA Code Section 63.2-100), came to light when one of our Assistant City Attorney's encountered a problem during a court hearing. The definition in Subsection 4 of VA Code Section 16.1-228 and 63.2-100 are different. The verbiage in Subsection 4 of VA Code 63.2-100 regarding 'sexual exploitation' is more expansive than the verbiage used in the same Subsection of VA Code Section 16.1-228. Also, Subsection 2 of VA Code Section 63.2-100 is different from the definition in Subsection 2 of VA Code Section 16.1-228 regarding how to consider the actions of a parent or person responsible for providing health care for an abused and neglected child. For judicial interpretation purposes, a definition does not apply if it is not referenced. SB1168 seeks to align the definitions of these two VA Code Subsections, which will also strengthen those definitions in VA Code Section 16.1-228. We thank you in advance for your support of this legislation.

Last Name: Neil Organization: City of Portsmouth Locality: Hampton

Previous testimony submitted in support of this bill. I also signed up to speak but have not received a link to connect to the meeting.

Last Name: Riddick Organization: Office of Portsmouth City Attorney Locality: City of Portsmouth

The Portsmouth City Attorneys Office ask that you support this bill because this bill makes the definition of abused or neglected child found in title 16.1 -228 consistent with the definition of abused or neglected child found in title 63.2 -100 of the Code of Virginia. The definition of an abused or neglected child should be consistent in the code of Virginia for investigation purposes and for initiating court actions in child welfare proceedings.

Last Name: Neil Organization: City of Portsmouth Locality: Hampton

SB 1168 - Patron -Senator Lucas - Please Support! The crux of the matter is the difference in the definitions in Subsection 4 of VA Code Section 16.1-228 and VA Code Section 63.2-100. Also, Subsection 2 of VA Code Section 63.2-100 is different from the definition in Subsection 2 of VA Code Section 16.1-228 regarding how to consider the actions of a parent or person responsible for providing health care for an abused and neglected child. These inconsistencies in the definitions were brought to our attention by one of the City's Assistant City Attorneys, Ms. Riddick, after she encountered this misalignment in the Code of Virginia while dealing with a matter before the court. For judicial interpretation purposes a definition does not apply unless it is referenced. Hence, there exists a need to align these two VA Code Sections. This bill does not create new language in either Code Section, just adds the existing definitions in Subsections 2 and 4 of VA Code Section 63.2-100 to Subsections 2 and 4 of VA Code Section 16.1-228. I shared my research on this matter with the Virginia Crime Commission who examined the matter and agreed with my findings. They also shared the issues with the Virginia Department of Social Services, who also examined the matter, and agreed with our observations. In conclusion, we collectively agree as to how this oversight may have occurred. From a legislative staff perspective, it probably occurred because a Code Section 63.2 bill would have gone through Courts (maybe General Laws, but most likely Courts) so it would not have occurred to the patron, committee members or drafter to kept the two definitions parallel when they were amending the definitional sections in VA Code Sections in 63.2 The VA Code Section in 63.2 is a little bit 'looser' which is okay in the civil context and for DSS matters. But the VA Code Section 16.1 is definition is more likely to come into play with a criminal charge, and hence the verbiage needs to be more precise. What is 'exploitation?' Is it defined anywhere else in VA Code Sections 18.2 or 26.1? It appears they have been different regarding the term 'exploitation' as far back as a search through the portal would allow. As far as we are aware, there is no substantive reason as to why 'exploitation' appears in VA Code Section 63.2-100, but not in 16.1-228. This bill passed unanimously through Senate Courts and the full Senate, and we hope that this measure will be met with the same levels of support in the House of Delegates. Thank you

Last Name: Neil Organization: City of Portsmouth Locality: Hampton

On behalf of the City of Portsmouth, we thank Senator Lucas for her patronage of this bill. The crux of the matter is the difference in the definitions in Subsection 4 of VA Code Section 16.1-228 and VA Code Section 63.2-100. Also, Subsection 2 of VA Code Section 63.2-100 is different from the definition in Subsection 2 of VA Code Section 16.1-228 regarding how to consider the actions of a parent or person responsible for providing health care for an abused and neglected child. These inconsistencies in the definitions was brought to our attention by one of the City's Assistant City Attorneys, Ms. Riddick, after she encountered this misalignment in the Code of Virginia while dealing with a matter before the court. For judicial interpretation purposes a definition does not apply unless it is referenced. Hence, there exists a need to align these two VA Code Sections. This bill does not create new language in either Code Section, just adds the existing definitions in Subsections 2 and 4 of VA Code Section 63.2-100 to Subsections 2 and 4 of VA Code Section 16.1-228. This bill passed unanimously through Senate Courts and the full Senate. We ask that you also please support this bill. Thank you

End of Comments