Skip to main content

Tougher child protection law for Minnesota ready for Dayton's signature

  • Author:
  • Updated:

The first bill tightening Minnesota's child protection laws in the wake of the death 4-year-old Eric Dean is set to be signed by Governor Mark Dayton.

The piece of legislation prioritizes child safety over keeping a family together when social workers decide whether to intervene, the Associated Press reports, and it received unanimous approval in the Minnesota Senate on Thursday.

It will also repeal a law that stops social workers from taking past reports of child abuse into account when deciding whether to investigate new ones.

It follows the horrific case of Eric Dean, the Pope County boy who died at the hands of his stepmother in February 2013. Last year, a Star Tribune investigation found that suspicions of child abuse had been reported to the county on not fewer than 15 occasions prior to his death.

Gov. Dayton appointed a task force to look into how the state's child protection system could be reformed, and this bill is expected to be the first of several changes coming as a result of the task force's suggestions.

The Star Tribune says that Dayton plans to pledge an extra $50 million to implement the changes, and more recommendations are expected next week.

"This new law will restore an important layer of protection that will help identify abuse and enhance the safety of our children," Dayton told the newspaper. "I thank the Legislature for acting quickly and unanimously on this important legislation."

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-11-29 at 12.09.28 PM

Developer plans 'modern European' condos for Minnetonka

City planners are set to review a concept plan Thursday.


Expect up to 8 inches in Twin Cities; another snowstorm next week?

The latest from Bring Me The News meteorologist Sven Sundgaard.


Northern long-eared bat moved from threatened to endangered list

Populations affected by white-nose syndrome have declined by 97% or more.


Court: Ex-cop who fatally shot Philando Castile had teaching license wrongfully denied

The Court of Appeals sent the application back for reconsideration by the board.

Screen Shot 2022-11-29 at 7.26.15 AM

Multiple crashes, spinouts in Twin Cities as snow falls Tuesday morning

The metro could get up to six inches of snow throughout the day.

Screen Shot 2022-11-28 at 5.39.25 PM

Couple critically injured in Kanabec County home attack identified

Jeff and Becky Ponto were found critically injured in their home Sunday morning.

police tape

Assault charges filed against Red Wing man shot by deputy

The reportedly suicidal man crashed his van into a power pole before he allegedly began chasing a deputy at the scene.

Winter scene snow storm snowfall highway driving traffic - Joe Nelson Feb 2022 4

Winter storm warning for Twin Cities: 6+ inches possible

The heaviest snow could move through the Twin Cities.

police lights

Carver man charged after standoff with police in Prior Lake

The man had been fleeing from police when he allegedly broke into a home and the standoff ensued.


41-year-old Sherburne County man killed after crashing car into ditch

The crash occurred Sunday night in Palmer Township.

Screen Shot 2022-11-28 at 4.01.10 PM

Around 200 rescued after ice breaks free on Upper Red Lake

Red Lake — both Upper and Lower — is the largest freshwater lake in the state.