A bill requiring day-care workers who seriously injure children to serve a mandatory minimum sentence of two years will be heard next Wednesday morning at the Gressette Building. The bill, known as ‘Kendra’s Act’, was named after the daughter of Patrick and Michelle Gaddie who was slapped so hard it cause bleeding in her brain. The day-care worker plead guilty to the crime but received no jail time from Circuit Judge Kenneth Goode. The bill has been sitting on Orangeburg Senator Brad Hutto’s desk since early February and will finally be heard by the senate subcommittee next week. Michelle Gaddie says the presence of defense attorneys on the subcommittee does have her a bit concerned. “My concern is that a lot of those folks on the subcommittee and the full committees are defense attorneys,” said Gaddie.
“They typically don’t like mandatory minimums for crimes like that. So if there is any type of prolonged debate or anything of that nature, it could be in danger or not passing by May 1.”
Michelle Gaddie says the subcommittee and full committee will have to pass the bill by May 1 for it to have a chance to pass this year. Her husband Patrick Gaddie says he is hopeful that the subcommittee can put their personal politics aside and do what is right to protect the children of South Carolina saying, “they’re bringing the politics into it when a bill like this doesn’t need politics.
“There is right and there is wrong. People getting released and put on probation for hurting kids and, literally, killing kids is wrong. That’s why we’re trying to get the mandatory minimum sentence.”
The meeting is at the Gressette Building on the State House grounds and begins at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 15. It is open to the public and Michelle Gaddie is encouraging anyone who supports to come show that support.