WisBar News: Gov. Walker signs bill permitting power of parental rights, other child-related legislation:

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  • Gov. Walker signs bill permitting power of parental rights, other child-related legislation


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    Gov. Walker signs bill permitting power of parental rights, 
other child-related legislation

    Gov. Scott Walker signs AB 30, which allows parents with legal custody of a child to delegate parental authority to a third party through a power of attorney (POA). Anita Cruise (far left), chair of the State Bar’s Children and the Law Section, and State Bar Government Relations Coordinator Sandy Lonergan (second from left) attended the signing. The Children and the Law Section actively supported the bill.

    Nov. 23, 2011 – Today, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed into law legislation that allows parents with legal custody of a child to delegate parental authority to a third party through a power of attorney (POA), along with other child-related legislation.

    Under AB 30, according to a recent WisBar InsideTrack article by family lawyer Rändi Othrow and Dane County Assistant Corporation Counsel Dyann Hafner, “a parent will be able to draft a POA document delegating full or partial parental authority to a third person without court or social services involvement and the parent will maintain full control over the arrangement subject only to the other parent’s equal authority, provided that the other parent also has legal custody.”

    The bill addresses situations in which a parent seeks to designate temporary decision-making and care-taking responsibility to a competent adult during required absences. “Parents struggling with medical, emotional, or addiction issues may designate an appropriate adult to care for their children as may parents who are sentenced to jail, are in the military, or are away from home because of other responsibilities,” says Othrow and Hafner.

    The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Children and the Law Section actively supported AB 30, which was introduced in February of this year. Othrow is immediate past chair of the section.

    Prior to AB 30, parents in need of assistance had limited options, and a third party accepting care of a child was required to have a foster care license. There are some limitations to granting a power of parental rights, and Othrow and Hafner explain that lawyers should proceed cautiously when advising clients.

    For more information, read “2011 Assembly Bill 30 Creates a New Power of Attorney to Allow Parents to Delegate Parental Authority to a Third Party.”

    Other legislation

    Walker also signed into law other child-related legislation, including:

    • SB 42: Mandates school employees to report child abuse or neglect and requires school employees to be trained on abuse and neglect identification.
    • SB 86: Allows an educational agency to refuse employment to an individual who has been convicted of a felony and who has not been pardoned for that felony.
    • AB 102: Allows an increased penalty, up to five years imprisonment, for sexual assault and physical abuse crimes against children committed by a child care provider.
    • SB 49: Amends provisions relating to the revocation of licenses issued by the Department of Public Instruction for “immoral conduct,” and require the state superintendent to post on the department’s Internet site the name of any licensee who is under investigation for “immoral conduct.”
    • SB 204: Allows certain pupils to possess and use an epinephrine auto−injector, a device used for the automatic injection of epinephrine to prevent or treat a life-threatening allergic reaction. 
    • SB 45: Impacts laws relating to the administration of prescription and non-prescription medication to students by school nurses.