Cline Bill to Ensure Accountability in Local Social Services Agencies Signed Into Law

ROCKBRIDGE, VA – Delegate Ben Cline (R-Rockbridge) today announced that his bill (HB 2237) to extend the jurisdiction of the Office of the State Inspector General to include local Departments of Social Services has been signed into law by Governor Terry McAuliffe.  It will take effect on July 1, 2017.

“I am pleased that my bill to extend the jurisdiction of the Office of the State Inspector General has been signed into law.  The recent tragedies involving abused and neglected children in Rockbridge County has highlighted the need for more transparency and accountability in our child welfare system, including our local Social Services departments,” said Cline.  “The Office of Inspector General was created by the General Assembly to provide more transparency and accountability, and by extending the Inspector General’s jurisdiction to local offices of the Department of Social Services, this will provide more oversight that is greatly needed.” 

HB 2237 extends the jurisdiction of the Office of the State Inspector General by way of amending the definition of “state agency” to include any local offices of the Department of Social Services. 

Delegate Cline introduced the legislation following reports that complaints of child abuse and neglect went unanswered and possibly covered up following the death of a child in 2016.  Investigations by law enforcement agencies are ongoing. 

Cline represents the 24th House District, including the Cities of Lexington and Buena Vista, Bath County, Rockbridge County, and parts of Amherst and Augusta Counties. He was elected in 2002, and re-elected to his eighth term in November 2015. Cline is a member of the House Commerce and Labor Committee, the Militia, Police, and Public Safety Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Courts of Justice Committee. 

###