Posted on April 29, 2022
HARTFORD – State Rep. Charles Ferraro (R-117) supported bipartisan legislation aimed at protecting children from harmful online activity. The bill, H.B. 5468 – An Act Establishing the Crime of Harmful Communication with a Minor, was approved unanimously by the House of Representatives on Thursday evening.
This bill expands the scope of what contact is considered harmful to minors and enhances the potential for disciplining bad actors. Additionally, law enforcement will be equipped to detect and prevent this behavior before it escalates, providing additional protections for children and their families.
“Our children are absolutely our greatest asset and this bill does a great job at expanding their protections online,” said Rep. Ferraro. “Unfortunately, the internet is rife with predators and those who seek harmful contact with children.”
Earlier in this session, Rep. Ferraro supported HB 5001 – An Act Concerning Children’s Mental Health, which brought light to the growing concerns around the issue and provided a comprehensive plan to address it in schools, online, and in the community. Through these two pieces of integral legislation, there have been great strides made in making the internet and other public squares a safe place for children to grow.
“These children have been more susceptible to this type of grotesque behavior throughout the pandemic, piling onto a slew of mental health and other behavioral concerns in that time. In the strongest way, I am glad to support this legislation to protect our most vulnerable children,” said Ferraro.
As a result of the action taken on the bill during Thursday’s House Session, it will head to the State Senate for further consideration. The Senate must take concurring action on the bill before the 2022 session ends on Wednesday, May 4.