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Senate Sends Dayton 1st Bill Tightening Child-Protection Law

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Child-protection legislation inspired by the maltreatment death of a 4-year-old boy is close to becoming law after unanimous Senate approval.

The bill marks the first of what could be several changes from a task force review following Eric Dean's death. The bill repeals a law preventing social workers from considering past reports of child abuse when deciding whether to investigate new ones. It also clarifies that child safety is paramount in decision-making on claims of abuse of minors.

Gov. Mark Dayton, who ordered the the task force, said the legislation will restore an important layer of protection for children.

Dean was killed by his stepmother in 2013 after numerous complaints lodged with county social service failed to prompt action.

The same bill unanimously passed the House weeks ago.

(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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