Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Safe Haven: We Meant to Do That

Some people are saying that the safe haven spectacle is an example of the law of unintended consequences. Most state senators seem anxious to amend the safe haven law to apply only to infants. But some senators are saying they intended that events play out as they have.

Nebraska's safe haven law does not limit drop-offs to infants chiefly because State Senator Ernie Chambers does not like safe haven laws of any kind, and threatened to filibuster the bill if it included an infant age limitation. A few other senators say they wanted the spectacle of teenagers being dropped off at hospitals under the safe haven law to highlight the difficulties families have in getting help for troubled teens.

One of the "we meant to do that" senators now says he will introduce a bill to provide easier access for families to mental health options for their children.

Sounds good, but why wasn't that approach taken when the safe haven law was first passed?

Even absent that option, why weren't enough senators willing to provide the votes to overcome a filibuster during the 2008 session? They seem to be pushing the governor for a special session to clean up the mess ASAP.

1 comment:

OmaSteak said...

There isn't going to be a special session, it can wait until the regular session in January. This has the upside of no Ernie there to stir things up. It isn't shocking that those involved in providing services to "families/childern in crisis" see this issue as a huge potential revenue increase opportunity and there are plenty of rino's in the legislature who will be more than willing to throw even more taxpayer money at this "crisis". Revise the law to only cover infants 72 hours old or less and restrict it to NE residents. Then let the agencies/charities involved compete for charitable donations from the public for their funding. Government has no business providing "social services" in this area or in general. Same goes for county government too. The question you should be asked Chip is not "number of county hospital board meetings attended" but "Why does the county still own/operate a hospital?". Except for limited public health functions, the county should be outsourcing any other functions to the private sector if they can't be eliminated.