NEWS: Five Days Left in Session – Still No Erin’s Law

Rep. Tarr and Erin Merryn

Rep. Tarr Renews Call for Passage of Erin’s Law Legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2015

JUNEAU – There are five days left in the first session of the 29th Alaska Legislature and vital legislation called Erin’s Law is still stalled in committee.  Erin’s Law could immediately empower children to protect themselves from harm. 

Despite four versions of the Erin’s Law bill being introduced this session, there is still no Erin’s Law waiting on the Governor’s desk for his signature.  This is despite the fact that Governor Walker called for passage of Erin’s Law legislation in his January State of the State Address.  Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) introduced Erin’s Law last session.  It passed unanimously in the Senate but failed to advance in the House.   Rep. Tarr renewed her effort to pass Erin’s Law by prefilling House Bill 23 before the start of the legislative session.  

“I can’t help but think of the children that could have been protected with this personal body safety education had Erin’s Law passed last year,” said Rep. Tarr.  “Erin’s Law is proven to be an effective way to prevent child sexual abuse.”

Erin’s Law is named after child sex abuse survivor Erin Merryn, who visited the legislature last year.  The law has been proven in many other states to prevent child sexual abuse by requiring public school districts to offer prevention curriculum.

Senate Bill 37, which is one of the four Erin’s Law bills filed this session, will be heard today at 3:30 in the Senate Education Committee.

Erin’s Law is needed to address the disturbingly high number of child sexual abuse cases in Alaska.  The Office of Children’s Services is reporting there were 290 allegations of child sexual abuse in March. There have been a total of 1,592 child sexual abuse allegations since the start of the school year.

For more information about Erin’s Law contact Rep. Geran Tarr at (907) 465-3424.

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