2012 Capitol Update 5 – Caylee Anthony’s Law

This week marked the half-way point of the 2012 legislative session.  Friday, February 17 was legislative day 21 of the 40 days that the General Assembly meets each year.

Representative B. J. Pak, our good friend from Lilburn, introduced House Bill 974, also known as “Caylee Anthony’s Law.”  As you may remember from last summer, Caylee Anthony was a 2-year-old girl who was reported missing by her grandmother a month after she had last been seen.

People across the nation found it troubling that Caylee’s mother failed to report the disappearance of her daughter for a month and then admitted to lying about the circumstances surrounding the disappearance and death of Caylee.  “Caylee Anthony’s Law” would require parents in Georgia to report their child’s disappearance or death in a timely manner.

HB 974, requires adults or organizations responsible for children younger than 13 must maintain contact with those children.  If the responsible adult has not been able to contact the child for 18 hours, the adult must report the child as missing.  The legislation would also require these individuals to report the death of a child within 12 hours.  This bill is designed to penalize criminally negligent parents, and does not apply to parents who are simply unable to communicate with their child due to a situation where a child was away at a summer camp or another similar scenario.

As we move into the second half of the 2012 legislative session, we will continue to hear from more small businesses and review more legislation as part of the Red Tape Watch initiative. The next meeting of the Special Committee on Small Business Development and Job Creation is Thursday, February 23, 2012 from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. in room 415 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building – you are welcome to attend.

The House is in Session Tuesday through Friday this week. Please contact me with any issue of state importance to you, your family, or business. You may call my cell at 404-966-5804 or use the contact information below for my Capitol office.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your representative,

Brett Harrell