This morning, I basically woke up listening the news about the controversy of the recently enacted Safe Heaven Law in Nebraska. Almost 30 kids have been left in authorized agencies since mid-July; the take is that there is not a single newborn among them.
(Safe Heaven Laws, that are also instituted in Colorado, allows a mother to leave a newborn --up to 3 days old-- in a hospital, fire station or police department without facing any type of criminal prosecution or investigation for that matter).
Nebraska's government (or recently elected legislators for that matter) forgot or decided not to make themselves clear in one tiny detail: establishing an age cap for the children to be left in those agencies.
"On July 18, 2008, Nebraska became the last state to institute a "safe haven law," decriminalizing the act of abandoning an infant at a state hospital. Only fice lines ling, the law had one glaring ommision --the government never defined an age limit. Since July, 30 children, most of them teens or preteens, have been abandoned at Nebraska hospitals. Four children were even driven from other states and left by their parents. Oddly enough, the law has had no effect on those it attempted to protect: no infants have been abandoned yet."
Nebraska's hospitals have been receiving teens and pre-teens kids even from Georgia, Michigan and Iowa. I wonder what on earth has hapenned with the old-style chancleta...
(Yes, there are Cubans friends living in Nebraska and no, they haven't forgot about the chancleta and no, they are not corn-fed, they eat Cuban food)
Beyond the all sort of traumas these kids and teenagers are enduring, which I do not want to undermine, nor taking a look at God knows what extreme circumstances most parents endure in order to make a decision like that... there is another side to the story.
The side that has to do with taxpayers money and the fact that the Nebraska legislature have called to a special session this Friday Nov. 14th to try to fix the law.
Now, you wanna bet how much money will cost to taxpayers to get all legislators together into a special session?
NYT reported by the end of October that the cost of a special session has been estimated at more than $80,000, and the state’s “citizen-legislators” will have to take time off from their private jobs.
A question rules: Was there at least one legislator experienced enough in the law-writing business to at least realize that an age cap is a must for this type of legislation? Duh?!
To go above and beyond, get yourself an inexperience government at the federal level... and you'd get the picture.