A measure authored by State Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) to improve child services in Indiana passed the house of representatives on March 19 by a unanimous vote.
Rep. Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City) is the sponsor of Senate Bill 164.
SB 164 permits prosecuting attorneys to file a child in need of services (CHINS) petition with a juvenile court, beginning legal action that allows the state to intervene to protect a child. Prosecutors previously had this ability, but since July 2009, only the Department of Child Services (DCS) has been able to file a CHINS petition.
"Allowing prosecutors to file CHINS petitions expedites the process to get children the help they need," Holdman said. "This legislation keeps cases from potentially falling through the cracks."
SB 164 now returns to the Senate for concurrence or the establishment of a conference committee.