On September 23, the Senate approved, by unanimous consent, H.R. 1199, the Drug Endangered Children Act. The bill would extend the Drug Endangered Children program, which was authorized by the USA Patriot Improvement Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-177). An identical Senate companion measure, S. 1210, was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 22 (see The Source, 5/23/08). H.R. 1199 was approved by the House on September 24, 2007 (see The Source, 9/28/07). The president is expected to sign H.R. 1199 into law.
The bill will provide $20 million annually for FY2008-2009 for Drug Endangered Children programs nationwide, which, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), “have been developed to coordinate the efforts of law enforcement, medical services, and child welfare workers to ensure that children found in environments [where methamphetamine and other illegal substances are produced] receive appropriate attention and care.” According to the ONDCP website, 611 children were affected by, injured, or killed at methamphetamine labs in 2007.