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NEWS EXTRA

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SOURCE:  Office of Senator Mitch McConnell

McConnell Praises Reauthorization of Adam Walsh Act

‘Protecting children and bringing justice to victims has been a top priority of mine for many years.’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Senate passed the Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act. The legislation will bolster efforts to prevent future sexual assault crimes and help victims receive justice. It was sponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and passed by a vote of 89-0.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell noted that the authorization for this important legislation expired in 2011, but was revived under a new chairman, Sen. Grassley.

“It was disheartening to watch reauthorization legislation languish in the Senate and in the Judiciary Committee for years. But then, Chairman Grassley came along,” McConnell said. “Not only did he work to reauthorize this bill, he worked to make it stronger — with additional rights and protections for victims of sexual assault and human trafficking crimes. Like he’s done with other priorities, Chairman Grassley realized the urgency of moving this reauthorization forward and then worked diligently to advance it. It’s just another example of his efforts to put the Judiciary Committee to work for the American people.”

Sen. McConnell’s speech today on the legislation follows:

“The Republican-led Senate believes in the importance of combatting sexual assault and providing key protections for the victims of these heinous crimes. In less than 18 months, we’ve already passed many different measures to help victims and help stop these crimes.

·         We passed the Amy and Vicky Act, which will help the victims of child pornography get restitution from those who profit from their pain — and, because we know the pain doesn’t end when these images are produced, it can help victims find the closure they need and deserve too.

·         We passed an important measure championed by Senator Toomey, who worked with Senator Alexander to include in the K-12 education reform bill a requirement that states put laws and policies in place to help ensure schools are no longer able to ship child predators to other school districts.

·         We passed a measure from Senator Portman, who worked with Senator McCaskill to hold an infamous child sex-trafficking company in contempt

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) photographed at the Capitol on December 2, 2008.  Photograph by Karen Ballard

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) photographed at the Capitol on December 2, 2008. Photograph by Karen Ballard

and force it to turn over critical information — information that’s needed for their bipartisan human trafficking investigation to continue.

·         And of course, we passed the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. The victims of modern slavery deserve justice and they deserve a voice, which is why — after years of previous inaction — a new Republican-led Senate made it a priority to pass this important anti-slavery bill. Now it’s law.

“This week we’ll have two more opportunities to protect victims.

“The first, contained in a provision within the National Defense Authorization Act, is the End Modern Slavery Initiative Act. This effort would address human trafficking beyond our borders with tools to help end the scourge of modern slavery worldwide. I thank Senator Corker for his work on this measure.

“The second, the Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act, will bolster efforts to prevent future sexual assault crimes and help victims receive justice. We’ll pass it today.

“One group dedicated to combatting trafficking noted its strong support for this, quote, ‘vital’ legislation which it calls ‘essential to the fight against child sex trafficking.’ The Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act has also received the support of the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, RAINN, along with organizations like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

“I’ve been involved with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children since its inception and have had the privilege of working closely with the organization over the years.

“Protecting children and bringing justice to victims has been a top priority of mine for many years. I’ve long worked with John Walsh, Adam’s father, to advance efforts to do so. I supported the original Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act in 2006 in order to enhance law enforcements’ ability to track sex offenders and improve its information-sharing capabilities, and to support resources to aid in the apprehension of fugitives who commit these offenses. It’s an important law, but the authorization for it expired in 2011. It was disheartening to watch reauthorization legislation languish in the Senate and in the Judiciary Committee for years.

“But then, Chairman Grassley came along. Not only did he work to reauthorize this bill, he worked to make it stronger — with additional rights and protections for victims of sexual assault and human trafficking crimes.

“Like he’s done with other priorities, Chairman Grassley realized the urgency of moving this reauthorization forward and then worked diligently to advance it. It’s just another example of his efforts to put the Judiciary Committee to work for the American people.

“Under a new Chairman, the Judiciary Committee has reported out some 30 bills and has seen more than a dozen signed into law. Time and again, the committee has taken on important issues and worked towards real solutions for our country.

“We saw a great example of that recently with Chairman Grassley’s efforts to help combat the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic that’s hurting so many communities across our country. States like mine have been especially impacted by this drug crisis. I appreciated the steadfast commitment of colleagues like Chairman Grassley, along with key Senators like Senator Portman and Senator Ayotte, to address the issue and ensure Senate passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.

“Chairman Grassley has worked hard to pass other pieces of legislation too — like a law to protect American innovation in the 21st Century, for instance, and the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act I mentioned earlier.

“Without Chairman Grassley’s commitment in committee and Senator Cornyn’s relentless efforts on the floor, that important trafficking bill wouldn’t have become law.

So it’s clear that Senator Grassley has led the Judiciary Committee with a renewed focus on providing hope and providing a voice to those in need.

“We have just the latest example of his commitment in the bill before us today. So I commend Chairman Grassley for his strong leadership, and I urge my colleagues to join me today in supporting this important legislation.”

SOURCE:  Office of Senator Mitch McConnell

Working Together to Help Kentucky’s Children and Families

By U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and First Lady Glenna Bevin

May is National Foster Care Month. Roughly 8,000 children live in Kentucky’s foster care system, many of them because of parental neglect, which often stems from substance abuse. As we mark National Foster Care Month, our hearts go out to those who must, through no fault of their own, navigate life in the foster care system.

We believe every child deserves a safe, loving, and permanent home. Often the best way to help children find this is by helping families stay together. Keeping more families intact can prevent more children from entering the foster care system.

On the other hand, many of the children who do enter foster care find the love and stability they need thanks to foster families and adoption. Either way, a safe and loving home is the goal. We’re both parents who understand this. That’s why we’re working, at both the federal and state levels, on ways to help children and families.

SENATOR MITCH McCONNELL: As your senior senator for Kentucky and the Senate Majority Leader, I have focused on federal legislation to address the needs of Kentucky families. One bill I have cosponsored, the Protecting Families Affected by Substance Abuse Act, would reauthorize federal grant funding for programs that improve outcomes for children affected by parental substance abuse, including helping to safely reunify families when possible.

One Kentucky program that has benefitted from these grants, the Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START), has achieved nationally acclaimed success. It’s produced roughly twice the sobriety rates that traditional child protective services programs do, and sends half as many children to foster care.

Distressingly, the number of children diagnosed with newborn drug withdrawal in Kentucky has grown by more than 4,500 percent since 2000, with more than a thousand such babies born annually. I was proud when my bipartisan bill, the Protecting Our Infants Act, was signed into law at the end of last year to help address prenatal opioid addiction and the rise in infants born dependent on opioids as a result of this addiction.

I also work with Kentucky families who generously open their hearts and their homes through adoption. Some Kentucky families who wish to adopt internationally encounter difficulty bringing their adopted children to the United States, and I’ve been proud to help a number of them welcome their adopted children from places like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Haiti. I am also glad to assist Kentuckians who are pursuing domestic adoptions with navigating the federal bureaucracy.

FIRST LADY GLENNA BEVIN: As the First Lady of Kentucky, I have also made building stronger families a priority. Kentucky’s children deserve to have the best possible start in life and that begins with stable, intact families. I’m a mother of nine children—four of whom are adopted—so I know what the families in Kentucky who are seeking to adopt are going through. I commend them for providing homes for at-risk children.

As First Lady, I have taken an active interest in federal child welfare policy. Recently, I provided written testimony to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on Kentucky’s efforts to help children in, or at risk of entering, the foster care system. One effort I have supported is Kentucky’s successful START program, funded in part by the grants Senator McConnell is working to reauthorize, which helps keep at-risk families together.

Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services has been committed to helping us actively recruit more foster families throughout the state and to raise awareness for the need for foster families. Alongside foster care providers, we have worked to create more transparency and accountability in the child welfare system for the benefit of all foster kids.

Finally, we worked with legislators to craft a bill which will make it easier for children to stay with family members when their parents are away due to incarceration, substance abuse treatment, military leave, or other reasons. Thankfully, it passed the Kentucky Legislature and has been signed into law.

Together, as Senate Majority Leader and Kentucky’s First Lady, we feel we can be effective champions at both the federal and state levels for children in Kentucky who are in the foster care system, or in distressed families and at risk of entering the foster care system.

The policies we’ve outlined above have already made a difference. But there is still more work to do. As long as Kentucky families face challenges, and children are at risk, we will keep fighting on their behalf, whether in Frankfort or in Washington.

Clarence Roby, Attorney of Record.   Photo Courtesy:  Blacknews.com

Clarence Roby, Attorney of Record. Photo Courtesy: Blacknews.com

SOURCE:  BLACKNEWS

LOUISIANA STATE BOARD OF MEDICAL EXAMINERS ACCUSED OF RACISM IN FIRING OF AFRICAN AMERICAN EMPLOYEES

New Orleans, LA — The Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners is being Accused of Racism in the Firing and forced retirement of 11 long-term African-American women employees from the accounting department.

Cases are pending with the EEOC and one Federal Case is pending. Clarence Roby is the Attorney of Record.

Dr. Cecilia Mouton, Executive Director and Lead Investigator for the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners is directly responsible for the firing or retirements of these women. Dr. Mouton was appointed by Bobby Jindal and now serves at the discretion of Governor Jon Bel Edwards. In the Federal filings Dr. Mouton is accused of unprofessional conduct, screaming at the women publically and in private conferences, discrimination based on age and race, hiring private investigators to follow and gather information to be used against the women during their lunch breaks. Dr. Mouton allegedly tried to force the women to sign complaints against each other which could be used for dismissal.

One of the female employees died of a drug overdose in an apparent suicide after a closed-door meeting in which Dr. Mouton could be heard screaming at the employee.

The women are asking for the Governor to launch an investigation into Dr. Moutons actions, place her on administrative leave until the investigation is completed, and have her drug screened and physiologically evaluated because of her violent mood swings and loud angry outbursts.

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