I may have been too early on calling an end to winter. I apologize for anyone that saw the dusting of snow this week. Now, I truly think we’re out of the woods; we can put away the shovels and ice scrapers.
Yesterday was an important day in the House. I passed a bill that’s very dear to my heart. The legislation is called McKenna’s Law and helps ensure children who are over ten years old and in foster care are informed of their right to be appointed counsel in juvenile proceedings. The reason it’s called McKenna’s Law is because of a brilliant and brave 12-year-old named McKenna Ahrenholz. McKenna and her siblings were abused and neglected, and she struggled to get an objective legal voice to advocate on her behalf. When digging into this issue, we found a number of instances just like this one where juveniles in foster care were facing legal challenges on their own, without any legal counsel whatsoever. That can’t happen.
McKenna was brave enough to tell her story so other children in foster care don’t have to go through what she went through. I’m in awe at the love and caring she showed through this entire process. As I said on the House floor, she’s restored my optimism in humanity. If you’re interested in learning more, here’s a quick news story on McKenna’s Law.
Along with these floor sessions, we’re also working on negotiating our state budget bills. It’s an ongoing process, and I’m encouraged at the progress we’re making in the House and Senate. Now we just need the governor and his staff to start participating in the process so we can have a budget that prioritizes students, middle class tax relief, and road and bridge funding.
If you have any questions, please call or email my office.
Have a great weekend!