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Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued the following statement regarding the signing of Senate Bill 341, also known as Emma's Law, into law:
I would like to commend Governor Doyle on signing this important bill to protect children. Before this legislation was signed into law, recklessly causing great bodily harm to a child carried less of a penalty than the same conduct with an adult victim. This was backwards. Children depend on adults for their protection and are more vulnerable to injury when an adult acts recklessly. Those who recklessly cause great bodily injury to children should face a greater penalty. This is what this bill does, and I am pleased it is now law.
I would especially like to thank Washburn County Sheriff Terry Dryden and Washburn County District Attorney J. Michael Bitney, who brought this matter up at a Washburn County law enforcement roundtable I held with Representative Mary Hubler and Senator Bob Jauch in August 2008. After that roundtable, our offices worked together on this legislation, and I thank Representative Hubler and Senator Jauch for their continued support of Emma's Law and shepherding it through the process.