Termination of Parental Rights debated in Mississippi Senate - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Termination of Parental Rights debated in Mississippi Senate

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

It was an emotional day at the Mississippi State Capitol . Wednesday was the deadline for floor action on general bills that originated in the other chamber. But that didn't speed things up in the Senate. They spent three hours debating this bill about terminating parental rights.

"If I would've been with my father, I probably would've been just like him," described Senator Sean Tindell-R. "And I probably would've drank too much. Probably would've hit my children and hit my wife. But the cycle was broken because people cared."

Senator Sean Tindell silenced the Senate chamber, talking about his own family. He stressed that terminating parental rights is a last resort. But it's what's needed in cases of abuse and neglect.

"It will go on for generation after generation after generation if you don't break the cycle. I urge you to vote for the bill," added Tindell.

It was mentioned during the debate that the current law needs an overhaul, giving judges more discretion.

"Right now they simply do not have the statutory authority they need to deal with the most critical cases," said Senator Hob Bryan-D. "This bill is essential to do that. This bill is essential to hundreds of children who are stuck in limbo."

But some worry the bill needs more work.

"The fact that a state agent could act arbitrarily in a broadly worded language and take those rights away from you, even temporarily, should offend people of good sensibilities," explained Senator Chris McDaniel-R.

Senators who've witnessed abuse and neglect cases in court pleaded for its passage.

"If this bill does not pass, there will be hundreds and hundreds of children without a place to go," said Senator Brice Wiggins.

The bill passed the Senate and now goes back to the House for approval of the amendments.

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