Tester's Bill to Increase Safety for Children in Indian Country Clears Congress, Heads to President's Desk
(Big Sandy, Mont.)-Senator Jon Tester, Vice-Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, today released the following statement after the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act was passed by both chambers of Congress:
“There is nothing more valuable than our youth, and it is critical that we give them every opportunity to achieve success. This bill will help us better identify solutions to increase the safety of all Native American children.”
The Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act will create a commission to study the challenges Native American children face and will develop recommendations for improving services to tribes and communities in Indian Country.
In June, Tester’s Native American Children’s Safety Act was signed into law. This new law protects Native American children by requiring background checks for all adults living in foster care homes where Native American youth are placed.
Tester is also sponsoring the Tribal Youth and Community Protection Act, which will allow the tribes to arrest and prosecute any offender for domestic violence against children, drug-related crimes, and crimes committed against tribal law enforcement officers.
The Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act was unanimously passed by the Senate and House of Representatives, and is now heading to President Obama’s desk for his signature.