The last month or so has been quite a rough patch for Gov. Robert Bentley. His administration is fighting for its life as Bentley publicly fends off allegations of personal and official misconduct both in the media and among his fellow Republicans in Montgomery.
But even an embattled governor scores a victory every now and then using the highest office in state governmentc, and it appears Bentley was aiming for one on Thursday.
Bentley issued an executive order authorizing county Policy Councils designed to fight child sex abuse to work with local Child Advocacy Centers to develop a statewide abuse prevention plan based on local needs.
The order, Executive Order 20, also requires the coordinating councils to submit a report on their plan to the governor by July 1, 2017.
The order is in furtherance of an earlier initiative which created a task force on child sexual abuse prevention under a 2015 state law called “Erin’s Law,” which toughened penalties for abusers and called for the creation of comprehensive prevention standards.
“Children are our state’s most precious resource, and protecting Alabama’s children from abuse is critical,” said Bentley in a statement. “With this executive order, child sexual abuse prevention plans will be created based on the needs at the local county level.”
“The Alabama Children’s Policy Council, county children’s policy councils and Child Advocacy Centers work together and are a strong voice for protecting children from sexual abuse. I appreciate each group’s dedication to fighting for children,” added Bentley.