Mandatory Reporting for Youth Recreation Employees May Be Delayed

May 16, 2022

Note: There is updated information on this topic. Read the latest article.

The new law, passed in 2021, could be delayed to allow a child protection task force to make recommendations.

A provision in the Senate health and human services omnibus bill would delay the effective date of a new “mandatory reporting” law requiring youth recreation program employees to report child abuse. The law applies to city parks and recreation employees who are 18 or older.

Read a previous article about the 2021 mandatory reporting law

Under current law, the effective date is June 1, 2022, but the provision would delay that to June 1, 2023. This delay would allow the Legislative Task Force on Child Protection to meet and make recommendations on the new law.

The health and human services conference committee is currently working to reconcile the House and Senate versions of this omnibus bill. The delayed effective date is only in the Senate version of the bill.

Background

The new mandatory reporting requirement, found in 2021 First Special Session Chapter 7, was passed after negotiations and drafting of the bill happened at the last minute. The Legislative Task Force on Child Protection has the expertise to ensure that nothing was missed in 2021.

The 2022 bills that would postpone the effective date are:

  • SF 3805 ( Andrew Mathews, R-Princeton). This bill was passed out of the Senate Civil Law and Data Practices Committee and heard in the Senate Human Service Reform Committee, where it was incorporated into the larger omnibus bill that is being considered now.
  • HF 4312 ( Jamie Becker-Finn, DFL-Roseville). This bill was passed out of the House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committee. It was referred to the House Human Services Finance and Policy Committee, but it was not heard in that committee, so it is not included in the House omnibus bill.

League support

The League provided written testimony, advocating that the Legislative Task Force on Child Protection be allowed time to make recommendations on this issue.

Mandatory reporting is typically the responsibility of trained professionals, such as teachers and doctors. The new law would apply to city parks and recreation employees who are at least 18 years old.

These city employees could be summer counselors or swim instructors, and they do not have the same type of professional training. Therefore, the new law required that the Legislative Task Force on Child Protection make recommendations on any appropriate modifications. Unfortunately, this Task Force has not had time to make these recommendations.

Read the League’s written testimony (pdf)

If effective date is not delayed

The Department of Human Services is currently working on training that specifically addresses the new law as passed in 2021. If the effective date is not ultimately delayed, the training will be available by June 1, 2022.

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