On February 12, 2018, State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary) presented Senate Resolution (SR) 14 in the Senate Family and Children Services Committee. SR 14 would create a joint interim study committee to study allegations about the Department of Child Services (DCS) listed in a resignation letter from former Director Mary Beth Bonaventura. The committee only heard testimony on SR 14 and held the opportunity to amend and vote on the resolution for a later committee meeting. Sen. Melton had the following comments on the resolution:
“I brought Senate Resolution 14 forward because I think we are putting our children at risk if we don’t take a closer look at what’s happening inside of the Department of Child Services.
“Currently, we have an executive branch reporting on the Department’s operations but I feel as though elected legislators should also have a seat at the table when it comes to our state’s most vulnerable citizens, our children.
“The allegations provided by the former director are nothing to take lightly and I hope that I can get bipartisan support moving forward on this issue. This is not a topic that can be ignored and I hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle understand the position they will put our state and our children in if they do not agree to study this issue.
“I am working alongside the Chairman of the committee to ensure this resolution’s progress through the legislature. This is a common sense resolution and I worry that we will further endanger children’s lives if we fail to take action on such an important matter.”
Sen. Melton represents Indiana Senate District 3, which encompasses portions of Lake County. District 3 communities include Gary, Lake Station, New Chicago, Hobart, Ainsworth, Merrillville and Crown Point. For more information on Sen. Melton, his legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800 382-9467 or visit www.IN.gov/s3.