MONTPELIER, Vt. – Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell made five recommendations to the Committee on Child Protection Tuesday, highlighting areas of concern where he believes Vermont lawmakers should focus their efforts.
Topping the list was the issue of confidentiality in family court cases.
“Vermont's one of the states where the doors are locked,” Sorrell said.
“I welcome the Attorney General’s request to open that up more, at least have the discussion around it but I don't want to go too far,” DCF Commissioner Dave Yacovone said.
Commissioner Yacovone says he welcomes a shift in confidentiality to a point.
“I don't want to a child to be branded or stained for the sins of their mom or dad that have been committed on them,” Yacovone said.
Lawmakers also want to take their time before enacting legislation knowing there could be unintended consequences.
“We think we have such great ideas here in the legislature and sometimes we actually do harm to some individuals,” State Senator Claire Ayer said.
Senator Ayer says there are some obvious areas of concern. Vermont is one of three states that doesn’t have statutes protecting children from caregivers who abuse drugs according to the Attorney General.
“Every horrifying antidote that we heard involved drug abuse,” Ayer said.
Those stories will stick with the committee when drafting new laws...just as much as the concerns of the commissioner.