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Child abuse registry bills headed to Whitmer’s desk

Sad child

The state House has sent Governor Gretchen Whitmer finalized legislation to create a registry of child abusers.

The process took years as lawmakers, civil rights groups and law enforcement tried to strike a balance.

Michigan’s sex offender registry was widely criticized for being too sweeping and these bills are crafted to be much more narrow in scope, says Democratic state Representative Kevin Hertel. He’s one of the sponsors.

“And so this legislation will not make sure that this list is not only the correct list, but it will be effective at protecting children across our state.” said Hertel.

The legislation is named Wyatt’s Law for a child who suffered broken bones and brain damage as a result of abuse by his father’s girlfriend.

Once the legislation is signed into law, it will up to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to create the list. Parents would have to make a request to the department to run a check.