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Bill Requiring Background Checks Passes House (Mar 09, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Legislation has been approved by the Oklahoma House to require criminal background checks on adults living in a home where a foster child is to be reunited with a parent.

The House voted 97-0 Wednesday for the bill by House Speaker Kris Steele of Shawnee and sent it to the Senate for consideration.

Steele says the measure was inspired by the death of Aja Johnson, a 7-year-old girl who investigators believe was killed by her stepfather after he beat her mother to death last year. The stepfather then committed suicide.

The bill requires the Department of Human Services to conduct background checks on all adults before a foster child is reunited with a parent. Steele says background checks ensure that children in vulnerable situations are placed in a safe home.



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