Letter to the editor: Why the vote against child victims of sexual abuse?

Why the vote against kids?

Received March 3

Recently, a bill caught my eye that deserves some attention. Senate Bill 1251 appropriated money to the Crime Victim Compensation fund to cover forensic interviews, which used to be covered under Medicaid, for sexually assaulted children.

It also appropriated money to a commissioner for accrued unused vacation time. The bill passed with a 52-16 vote in the house. Among the no votes were Representative Ehardt and Zollinger; two local officials.

I found this deeply disturbing. It showed a lack of empathy to our most vulnerable population, our children, whose families may not be able to afford forensic interviews. Furthermore, evidence gained from forensic interviews are used to prosecute sexual offenders; protecting citizens from possible further abuse by these criminals, which is an appropriate use of government funds. It’s also worth noting that Senate Bill 1251 would be funded through a federal grant and would not cost the state anything.

Unfortunately, no explanation was given by our representatives as to why they voted against Senate Bill 1251 on the house floor. I hope that this letter results in a public explanation as to why they voted no.

(Word count: 186)

ADAM OLSEN

Idaho Falls

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