(St. Louis) (AP) – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation allowing parents more time to give up newborns, requiring screening for a heart defect and dealing with mandatory reporters of child abuse.
Nixon held a bill signing ceremony Tuesday at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
The legislation will permit parents up to 45 days instead of the current five days to give up their babies. And starting in 2014, screening for critical congenital heart disease will be required for infants.
Another newly signed bill seeks to close a loophole for child abuse reporting. Mandatory reporters suspecting child abuse or neglect currently must “immediately report” or “cause a report to be made.” That means mandated reporters can pass information to another person in their organization. The legislation requires reports to go directly to state officials.