The job of top SSHBBN researcher takes me all over the map, and it is easy to get lost. You wouldn’t believe the things we don’t report on her here and just stash away in a file folder. Sometimes I want to report something, but it’s really too small to spend my time enlarging on but still needs to be noticed beyond my green news-stalker eyes. Today I offer two short takes from those. I had a third one, but the Putative Boss (PB) as usual, stole it from me. She will get it up tomorrow (ha!) if she can pull herself away from binging on Norwegian noir.
Speaking of Maps
Over the weekend our resident cartographer Greg Luce released two new maps to illustrate the extent that Safe Haven Baby Boxes Inc is infecting the United States.
Map 1: An interactive map that shows the exact facilities and locations in states that have installed Safe Haven Baby Boxes, and the population of each town, which I think is really important. It also indicates which boxes have led to infant abandonments. The map is also accessible from our States page.
Map 2: A outline map on our Indiana page showing all locations. As you can see, Safe Haven Baby Boxes is the Monster that Ate Indiana.
When I have the time I will post a chart of towns that are in danger of being boxified. A map would be overwhelming and difficult to maintain since things change nearly daily. Anyway, my job is to educate not to horrify you
Meow Culpa! New Mexico
Last session the New Mexico legislature considered HB157 and its partner SB168, bills to legalize Safe Haven Baby Boxes in the state. The bill also authorized $330,000 in public funds to partially pay for a box in every county, where infants up to 90 days of age could be dumped. The House version was voted out of committee with a Do Pass with some minor amendments but didn’t make it to a vote before adjournment. Lawmakers suggested that it would be revisited if a special session were called. Some also wanted to clarify various “rights” issues. If it did come back this year it was a sure pass. In February, however, cities began to decide on boxes on their own. Espanola, placed a box at a fire station, and Belen ,Carlsbad, Hobbs, Loving, Roswell, and possibly more are planning to follow suit. This will be the way to go in states with reluctant lawmakers and Home Rule.
For months, I dutifully checked the New Mexico legislature for news on boxes, but nothing happened Whew! But I whewed too soon.
On October 5, the New Mexico Department t of Finance and Administration Local Government Division (LGD) issued a press release announcing a “grant opportunity” for local governments to apply for up to $10,00 each–out of a $330,000 allocation –to help pay for local boxes.
This allocation was actually signed into law in March. It was snuck through–not as part of baby box legislation, but through SB 212 (page 98) under the title Capital Outlay Projects. The bill included money for “surrender safety devices” another new and clever name for Safe Haven Baby Boxes to hide behind. At least we have another search term to use.
The legislature has yet to amend the state’s Safe Haven law, but since New Mexico is a Home Rule and Dillon’s Rule state, municipalities and counties are free to do as they please unless they go against the federal and state constitutions. Since nothing prohibits Safe Haven Baby Boxes in New Mexico, they are a go. We believe, however that new legislation will be introduced next year to dot the i’s and cross the ts.
As we reported recently, the Indiana legislature allocated $1 million toward paying for baby boxes. there.No information was posted on how the funds would be distributed, but we suspect it will similar to the New Mexico grant scheme. We wrote to Indiana State Rep Randy Frye for more information on the funding, but he has not responded.
Here I am working undercover in my relentless search for news and truth. In love and solidarity, Angelika, the Personal Assistant Cat