Representative Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D) Ohio District 25 spoke glowingly of Bill 137 that she sponsored, was passed by the House and signed into law by Governor John Kasich during an interview that reviewed her last two years in the Ohio State House of Representative.
She summed it up with “I honestly enjoyed the house. I enjoyed being there. You know you are there serving. What I looked for was this Bill 137, which from my experience was that I tried to introduce a bill that is going to mean something to everyone and which cuts across all cultural lines.”
Bill 137 mandates peace officers to report child abuse or neglect.
Hitherto, the law only requires county and municipal peace officers notify a child protective agency upon receipt of a child abuse report. However, making peace officers mandated reporters when they see or suspect abuse and neglect will enable officers to report these early warning signals to social service agencies, so the agencies can act before too much harm is inflicted.
The Bill 137 also expands the types of peace officers authorized to receive reports of child abuse and neglect.
“Child abuse and neglect can affect a child’s DNA, thus affecting generations to come”
“I am excited to have had Governor Kasich sign the bill that I, and others, have put so much into getting passed for the protection of our children,” Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent said.
According to her, “every child has a right to a safe childhood and a life free from violence. Identifying and responding to these cases early and getting provisions in place is extremely important to the overall health and future of the child.”
“Child abuse and neglect can affect a child’s DNA, thus affecting generations to come,” she added.
In 1963, Ohio became one of the first States to enact a mandatory reporting law with the passage of House Bill 765 to the 105th General Assembly. The law originally only designated physicians, including hospital interns, and resident physicians, as mandated reporters.
“Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent, a former teacher at the Columbus City Schools was elected for a second term at the November 6, 2018 general election.”
Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent, a former teacher at the Columbus City Schools was elected for a second term at the November 6, 2018 general election.
“I know that everyone was elected by their constituencies. We are here to serve and we are paid with tax payers’ money. That is what I want people to understand. You have to hold us responsible. Not just election time. Once you chose to be a public servant then you have to serve.
What can I do to help is what we should be saying. I strongly feel that way. That is how I operate.”
One of the challenges in the next legislative session is to reintroduce House Bill 624 to correct funding issues as regards the New African Immigrant Commission’s Sub-House bill 500 of 127th General Assembly. The Commission was set up without proper provision for funding. Similar Commissions enjoy funding from both government and private sectors.
Rep. Kent also hopes to work on with other legislators to ensure better and affordable health care and improvement in education.
“I know that everyone was elected by their constituencies. We are here to serve and we are paid with tax payers’ money. That is what I want people to understand. You have to hold us responsible. Not just election time. Once you chose to be a public servant then you have to serve.”
Believing she can accomplish her goals within the legislative period, Rep Kent said “I am looking forward to my second term. I hope I can get a third and fourth term. I want to do all eight years. I want to work hard. You can count on me to listen.”