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Thu May 31, 2012
"Leo's Law" nearly ready for governor's signature
It would be more difficult for the state to take children into protective custody, under a bill that's expected to go to the governor for his signature soon.
The legislation was inspired by a situation at a Detroit Tigers game four years ago.
Leo Ratte was seven years old at the time, when his dad bought him a bottle of Mike's Hard Lemonade at the ballpark. His dad didn't realize the drink contained alcohol. But a security guard spotted Leo drinking the lemonade, and notified authorities.
Hours later, Leo was in state custody. He spent two nights away from his parents.
The bill's sponsor says he wants to make sure something similar never happens again.
"When I began to look into the problem I found that Michigan has some of the lowest standards in the nation for removing a child from a parent," said Sen. Rick Jones (R-Lansing).
Jones' bill would require there to be substantial or imminent risk of harm before a child could be removed from its parents without a court order.