Tim Johnson on Families & Children
Democratic Sr Senator (SD)
Strengthen America’s Families
While the steady reduction in the number of two-parent families of the last 40 years has slowed, more than one-third of our children still live in one- or no-parent families. There is a high correlation between a childhood spent with inadequate parental support and an adulthood spent in poverty or in prison.
To strengthen families, we must redouble efforts to reduce out-of-wedlock pregnancies, make work pay, eliminate tax policies that inadvertently penalize marriage, and require absent fathers to pay child support while offering them new opportunities to find work. Because every child needs the attention of at least one caring and competent adult, we should create an “extended family” of adult volunteer mentors.
Family breakdown is not the only challenge we face. As two-worker families have become the norm, harried parents have less time to spend on their most important job: raising their children. Moreover, parents and schools often find themselves contending with sex- and violence-saturated messages coming from an all-pervasive mass entertainment media.
We should continue public efforts to give parents tools to balance work and family and shield their children from harmful outside influences. For example, we should encourage employers to adopt family-friendly policies and practices such as parental leave, flex-time, and telecommuting. Public officials should speak out about violence in our culture and should press the entertainment media to adopt self-policing codes aimed at protecting children.
A bill to create a 3-year pilot program that makes small, non-profit child care businesses eligible for SBA 504 loans. Amends the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 to allow the proceeds of loans made through the Small Business Administration (SBA) to local development companies for plant acquisition, construction, or expansion to be used to assist small, nonprofit child care businesses, provided that: (1) the loan will be used for a sound business purpose approved by the SBA; and (2) each business receiving the assistance meets eligibility requirements applicable to for-profit businesses.
The Christian Coalition was founded in 1989 by Dr. Pat Robertson to give Christians a voice in government. We represent millions of people of faith and enable them to have a strong, unified voice in the conversation we call democracy.
OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY:
SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. CLINTON: I rise today to introduce a bill to help parents protect their children against violent and sexual media. I stand with the parents and children of the Nation, all of whom are being victimized by a culture of violence.
As parents, we monitor the kind of people who interact with our children. If somebody is exposing our children to material we find inappropriate, we remove our children from that person. Yet our children spend more time consuming media than doing anything else but sleeping and attending school. Media culture is like having a stranger in your house, and it exerts a major influence over your children.
This bill would take an important step towards helping parents protect their children against influences they often find to be inappropriate--violent and sexually explicit video games. Quite simply, the bill would put teeth into the video game industry's rating system, which specifies which video games are inappropriate for young people under 17. By fining retailers who do not abide by the ratings system, this bill sends a message that the ratings system is to be taken seriously.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; never came to a vote.
A bill to amend the National Child Protection Act of 1993 to establish a permanent background check system. Congress finds the following:
The White House Conference on Children and Youth in 2010 Act - Directs the President to call a White House Conference on Children and Youth in 2010 to: (1) encourage improvements in each state and local child welfare system; and (2) develop recommendations for actions to implement express policy regarding federal, state, and local programs. The Congress finds the following:
Introduction by co-sponsor Sen. Kay Hagan (D,NC):
We have a serious responsibility to ensure that women and families are protected. The rates of violence and abuse in our country are astounding and totally unacceptable: domestic violence affects more than 12 million people each year. In my home state, 73 women and children are killed on average every year because of domestic violence.
Since 1994, the STOP Program has provided grants for services, training, officers, and prosecutors, and has transformed our criminal justice system and victim support services. And this bill includes the bipartisan SAFER Act, which helps fund audits of untested DNA evidence and reduces this backlog of rape kits. I ask you: What other victims in America have to identify the attacker before authorities will take action? None.Introduction by Sen. Chuck Grassley(R,IA):
I urge my Republican colleagues, as I will do, to support the motion to proceed. There has long been bipartisan support for the Violence Against Women Act. Too many women are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence. There is overwhelming bipartisan support for 98% of what is contained in S. 47. [Since our negative vote last session], controversial provisions have been removed. The key stumbling block to enacting a bill at this time is the provision concerning Indian tribal courts. Negotiations are continuing, and compromises would allow the bill to pass with overwhelming bipartisan support. Introduction by Sen. Pat Leahy (D,VT):
Our bill will allow services to get to those in the LGBT community who have had trouble accessing services in the past. The rates of domestic and sexual violence in these communities are equal to or greater than those of the general population. We also have key improvements for immigrant victims of domestic and sexual violence.
Declares that each of the four major television broadcast networks and their affiliates, independent television stations, the Public Broadcasting System, and cable programmers and operators should:
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