(Jackson, MS) Andrew Loyd’s dream was to be a superhero.
And even though he’s gone, he may soon get the chance, as Andrew’s bill is now making its way through the Mississippi legislature.
Mississippi lawmakers are considering a bill named in memory of the 11-year-old that could help prevent another child from being killed by a mentally ill parent.
Andrew was killed by his mentally ill single father Billy in Farmington, Miss., in 2012.
Andrew was left in Billy’s care, even though he put Andrew’s life in danger when he had a shoot-out with police just months before and was treated in the mental ward at the hospital.
Andrew’s bill passed the Mississippi House 11 to 5 Tuesday and will now go to the Senate for approval.
News Channel 3 worked with Representative Nick Bain to create the bill, which strengthens laws that require hospitals and law enforcement to turn over any suspicion of child neglect to DHS.
That wasn’t done in Andrew’s case.
“Hopefully we can take the politics out of it and put the emphasis on the protection of the child,” said Representative Bain.
Here’s how it works: When someone is committed, they go through a pre-evaluation, and under the bill’s plan, the patient must answer more questions than they do now.
“It asks if your married and stuff like that, but it doesn’t ask if you have any children. So we mandate now for it to ask if you have any children and your access to them,” said Bain.
If the person is then determined a danger, DHS must be notified by law.
“We tried to marry this with the privacy of the person along with the protection of the child, and this was vetted and approved by a number of groups,” said Bain.
The new measures won’t cost any extra money because the staff is already in place.
The bill will now go to the Mississippi Senate and, if approved there, it will go to Governor Phil Bryant to be signed into law.