A bill that cleared the House this morning gives state officials the authority to release details of a child abuse investigation. Those details are now sealed from the public, but republican Representative Dan Boddicker of Tipton says there are times when the Department of Human Services needs to defend itself from allegations it didn’t act to protect a child.Two years ago, legislators gave themselves the authority to review child abuse investigation records, but lawmakers and other state officials were still prohibited from revealing details to the public. He says it appeared like nothing was being done in cases, but he says there was something being done, but the law kept officials from revealing what was being done.Boddicker says the bill will give state officials the ability to defend themselves in public.If the bill becomes law, D-H-S officials would have to get a judge’s permission to release details of investigations of abuse that kills or severely injures a child. The state has come under fire in some high-profile cases, like the January, 2000 death of Shelby Duis, a Spirit Lake toddler.
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