House backs bill to better track and stop child abuse

Legislation designed to better protect children from abuse and to improve the state’s response to it passed unanimously Wednesday in the state House.

House Bill 923, by Rep. Christian Coomer, R-Cartersville, was approved 168-0. The bill, backed by Gov. Nathan Deal, is named for a 1-year-old girl, Journey Ann Cowart, who died from child abuse in January.

“I’m not naive to think any law can really stop all child abuse or end all suffering,” Coomer said. “But we should be ashamed if we don’t try.

The bill moves the Child Fatality Review Panel from Deal’s office to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, seeks to improve the flow of information between state and local agencies and gives greater public access to records related to child deaths.

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