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Rep. Pebblin Warren to refile day care bill next session

inside of the kindergarten classroom with drawings on the walls

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

The bill which would regulate day care centers in Alabama will come back for the next Legislative session.

State Rep. Pebblin Warren, D-Tuskegee, told The Alabama Political Reporter in an email on Friday, that the bill would be filed next year at the beginning of the next Legislative session starting in January 2018. Warren sponsored the Legislation when it came through the Legislature earlier this year.

Warren, along with other supporters, pushed for the bill to pass the Legislature in a press conference on the final Legislative day. At the press conference, Warren vowed to come back with the bill as many times as necessary.

Unregulated day care centers were highlighted in August when 5-year-old Kamden Johnson died in the care of an unregulated day care employee, Valarie Patterson. Records show Mobile Police showed up to Patterson’s house to find Kamden’s body in her van.

The Johnson family filed a lawsuit against the day care facility in August according to court records.

Since his death, Gov. Kay Ivey came out as a supporter of regulated day cares. She told reporters at an Association of County Commissions meeting in Orange Beach, Alabama, that all children should attend regulated day cares in Alabama according to the television station WKRG.

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The 2017 bill faced initial concern from the conservative political action committee Alabama Citizens Action Program for its regulation of day care facilities located in religious institutions, such as churches.

Later versions of the bill contained amended clauses designed to protect the religious liberty of religiously-run day care centers.

The final opposition came from the conservative activist group Eagle Forum, who had concerns of rural day care centers being negatively affected by government regulation.

The day care bill died in the Alabama Senate on the last Legislative day, amid Sen. Shay Shelnutt, R-Trussville, calling that the bill be negotiated off the floor. The bill never made its way back to the floor.

 

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