Sen. Laughlin’s Bill to Improve Day Care Safety Sent to Governor

A bill introduced by Senator Dan Laughlin (R-49) to protect children in state-regulated daycare facilities received final legislative approval today and was sent to the Governor for enactment into law.

The Senate today concurred on House amendments to Senate Bill 934, a measure Senator Laughlin introduced in response to a tragic fire that claimed the lives of five young children in Erie last year. The bill amends the Human Services Code to require family daycare homes have a smoke detector on each floor and in the basement, as well as a portable fire extinguisher, and meet occupancy and licensing requirements.

“Many of the bills introduced in the Senate are inspired by real life events that take place in our districts. Tragically, in this case, this bill was inspired by a fire in a day care facility in Erie that claimed the lives of five young children last August. La’Myhia Jones, 8; Luther Jones Jr., 6; Ava Jones, 4; Dalvin Pacley, 2; and Jaydan Augustyniak, age 9 months all died as a result of the Sunday morning fire,” Senator Laughlin said. “What made this horrific incident even more tragic was the fact that these young lives may have been saved if the home had been properly equipped with smoke detectors.”

Senate Bill 934 requires that as part of the Human Services Department’s inspection process, daycare center operators must provide a written affirmation stating that the center or home maintains a written emergency plan, fire drill log and posted evacuation routes.

“This bill will not restore the lives that were tragically lost nor will they ease the pain those grieving families endured. However, it is government’s responsibility to learn from these tragic cases and to act to prevent them from ever occurring again in the future,” Senator Laughlin said.

Matt Azeles

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