Working to transform the child welfare system.

SB 6427: Providing funding for medical evaluations of suspected victims of child abuse

The crime victims’ compensation fund was established in 1973 to cover medical bills and other costs associated with being the victim of a crime. Current state law requires the crime victims’ compensation fund to pay the costs of sexual assault examinations of minors when they are performed to gather evidence for possible prosecution. In 2015, the legislature passed Substitute Senate Bill No. 5897 to provide funding for medical evaluations of suspected child victims of physical abuse, however the law expired June 30, 2019, and was not extended in the omnibus operating appropriations act. 

While sexual assault examinations are currently provided for by the crime victims’ compensation fund, examinations for child victims of felony-level physical assault are not covered. Contributing to the cost of these examinations will incentivize timely evaluations, lead to early identification of abuse, and potentially prevent a child from further traumatization or injury. The legislature therefore resolves to reenact the provision of medical examinations of children who may be victims of felony-level physical abuse.

Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose, the department must pay, secondary to other insurance benefits, all costs incurred by an institution as defined for the examination of a suspected victim of assault of a child when the examination is conducted within seventy-five days of the filing of a petition for dependency.