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Nixon to take action on two bills to protect Missouri children

Gov. Jay Nixon is taking action on legislation supporters say will help protect children in Missouri.

One bill seeks to close a loophole in the state’s mandatory child abuse reporting law. Current law requires mandatory reporters who suspect a child has been abused or neglected to “immediately report” or “cause a report to be made” to the state’s Children’s Division. That means mandatory reporters can pass the information to another person in their organization. The legislation would require reporters to submit the case directly to state officials.

Another measure would require infants be screened for critical congenital heart disease within 48 hours of birth or before they are discharged from the hospital. The mandatory screenings would begin in 2014.

Nixon plans a public ceremony Tuesday at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

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