House Approves Paragould Lawmaker's "Garret's Law"

MARCH 15, 2005 - Posted at 8:05 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The House has approved a bill to require doctors and hospital personnel to report when babies are born with illegal drugs in their systems, or with health problems because of a pregnant mother's illegal drug use.  The bill by state Senator Tim Wooldridge of Paragould passed the House yesterday on an 85-1 vote, with two members voting "present."

The bill would expand the defenition of child neglect in the Arkansas Child Maltreatment Law.  The maltreatment law requires reports by medical personnel to a state hotline.

The bill is being called the proposed Garrett's Law in memory of the grandson of its most outspoken supporter, Betty Stahl of Paragould.  Her infant grandson Garrett died from complications from his mother's drug use.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)