Most of the bills that legislators introduced at the beginning of the legislative session died somewhere along the way during the session. Some others have been signed into law by Governor Tate Reeves. House and Senate leadership have sent a few bills to a conference committee, where members from each body can work out differences in similar laws passed by both chambers.
This list contains bills that are still alive and that Families as Allies is following. The list is current as of the afternoon of March 28. Inclusion on this list means that the bill is related to the work of Families as Allies. It does not imply that we agree with the bill. We want you to have as much information as possible to make the best decisions for your children and family.
We draw your attention to three bills:
| HB 510 | “Foster Parents’ Bill of Rights; and Responsibilities; create and require to be provided to foster parents.” HB510, which leadership has “recommitted to conference” for further changes, creates a list of rights and responsibilities for foster parents. It requires Child Protective Services to share more information with foster parents about the children in their care and about appointments and meetings. It states that foster parents should be able to attend IEP meetings, and it also creates a grievance process for foster parents and provides information about resources.
| HB1318 | “Baby drop-off and safe haven; revise provisions that regulate.” HB1318, which leadership has also recommitted to conference, creates a way for a parent to safely drop off a baby 45 days old or younger with medical or emergency personnel when the parent believes they cannot care for the baby.
| SB2384 | “Foster Care and Adoption Task Force; create.” SB2384, which has come out of conference committee, creates a task force to examine foster care and adoption issues and recommend how the state can improve these systems. It lists several issues that we know from families are important.
We believe it will be necessary for the task force to include biological and foster families, not simply have members representing families’ interests. Parent representation is one issue the bill would require the task force to examine: “Review whether parent representatives should be provided, and if so, how to pay them and whether Title IV-E funds could be used to pay them.”
The Legislature has extended some deadlines for bills, and negotiations are ongoing, so information about legislation may change quickly over the next few days.