NH House Majority Leader to Request Rules Change to Allow for Introduction of Caylee's Law Bill

Concord--House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) announced today that he intends to ask the House Rules Committee to permit the late drafting of legislation that would make it a felony for any parent who failed to report a child missing within a certain time of their disappearance.  According to Rep. Bettencourt, he would like to work with the appropriate policy committee to set the window for reporting a missing child to a time specific, but said it would likely be  somewhere  between 48 to 72 hours .  The legislation, called "Caylee's Law," comes in response to the recent death of the Florida toddler, Caylee Anthony, whose disappearance went unreported by her mother for nearly a month.

"It is  unconscionable to think that any parent or guardian of a child would let their child's disappearance go unreported for any length of time," said Bettencourt.  "The Caylee Anthony case has clearly brought to the national consciousness the need to close the  hole in any laws that don't adequately protect our children.  We need to take steps right now to ensure that the search for any missing child can begin as quickly as possible and that any parent or guardian who fails to file a report suffer the consequence.  I intend to ask our  Rules Committee to allow the late drafting of this bill so that we may deal with it in the 2012 session," he added. 

Any legislator who wishes to submit a bill after the House deadline, which ended in June, must get the permission of the House  Rules Committee.   Rep. Andrew Renzullo (R-Hudson) will join Rep. Bettencourt as a co-sponsor of the legislation and also intends to appear before the House Rules committee.