Working to transform the child welfare system.


HB 2737: Relating to fetal alcohol exposure

HB 2737 states that fetal alcohol exposure can cause serious mental and physical disorders and disabilities in children. These disorders are preventable if a mother does not drink during pregnancy. With the advent of private alcohol retailers, there is now increased access to alcohol. The legislature intends to require signage warning women about the dangers of fetal alcohol exposure in all stores selling alcohol. This requires premises that serve alcohol for on-premises consumption, grocery store licensees, beer and wine specialty shop licensees, breweries, wineries, and taverns to post a warning that consumption of alcohol during pregnancy can cause birth defects.

The bill states that by convening a work group of stakeholders, the legislature can become better informed about steps that can be taken to appropriately address fetal alcohol exposure. HB 2737 requires the Department of Social and Health Services, the Department of Health, the Department of Corrections, and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to execute an interagency agreement establishing a workgroup to ensure the coordination of identification, prevention, and intervention programs for individuals who have fetal alcohol exposure, and for women who are at high risk of having children with fetal alcohol exposure. 

Specifically, this work group should focus on identification of evidence-based practices for early screening and diagnosis of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, identification of evidence-based practices for prevention of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, identification of evidence-based practices for interventions that can be used with individuals experiencing fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, and recommendations of policy changes that would improve the identification, prevention, or interventions related to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.  Recommendations from the work group are to be submitted to the appropriate committees of the legislature by Dec. 1, 2014.