Missouri House, Senate Pass Versions of Day Care Law

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JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri lawmakers made changes Thursday to the current child-care safety bill. One of the most prominent changes includes the establishment of the "Sam Pratt's Law." Under this new measure, anyone accused in the death or abuse of a child would not be allowed to run a day care center while criminal charges are pending.

"Sam Pratt's Law" received its name from a 2009 case in which a young boy died at an illegal day care center in the town of pilot knob. The owner continued operating the business even after she was charged in the boy's death.

The revised bill also includes increasing fines for illegal providers from its current limit of 200 dollars to a total of 10,000 dollars.

Providers also have to publicly post they are unlicensed and not monitored by state regulators.

The House approved the measure 135-0 as part of an exchange between Republicans and Democrats.  Democrats, the minority, also allowed majority Republicans to redo a vote on a measure that would make gold legal tender in the state. In return, the Republicans agreed to hold votes on two Democrat-sponsored bills.