John Carney on Families & Children
The Family Services Cabinet Council will spearhead a new effort to coordinate public and private services that are often fragmented. The Council will propose changes to current programs to improve the delivery of state services. We will tackle the hardest problems. I will chair this Council myself, and my cabinet secretaries will be engaged personally.
John Carney: Recently, I lost my father and mother-in-law after illnesses and hospitalization of varying lengths. I saw firsthand the confusing, stressful, and emotionally draining situations that family members acting as caretakers can find themselves in. As Governor, I'd support legislation encouraging employers to give caretakers more flexibility in tending to their loved ones. I would also support respite care programs that allow caregivers to get a rest while knowing their loved ones are being cared for.
Introduction by co-sponsor Sen. Kay Hagan (D,NC):
We have a serious responsibility to ensure that women and families are protected. The rates of violence and abuse in our country are astounding and totally unacceptable: domestic violence affects more than 12 million people each year. In my home state, 73 women and children are killed on average every year because of domestic violence.
Since 1994, the STOP Program has provided grants for services, training, officers, and prosecutors, and has transformed our criminal justice system and victim support services. And this bill includes the bipartisan SAFER Act, which helps fund audits of untested DNA evidence and reduces this backlog of rape kits. I ask you: What other victims in America have to identify the attacker before authorities will take action? None.Introduction by Sen. Chuck Grassley(R,IA):
I urge my Republican colleagues, as I will do, to support the motion to proceed. There has long been bipartisan support for the Violence Against Women Act. Too many women are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence. There is overwhelming bipartisan support for 98% of what is contained in S. 47. [Since our negative vote last session], controversial provisions have been removed. The key stumbling block to enacting a bill at this time is the provision concerning Indian tribal courts. Negotiations are continuing, and compromises would allow the bill to pass with overwhelming bipartisan support. Introduction by Sen. Pat Leahy (D,VT):
Our bill will allow services to get to those in the LGBT community who have had trouble accessing services in the past. The rates of domestic and sexual violence in these communities are equal to or greater than those of the general population. We also have key improvements for immigrant victims of domestic and sexual violence.