LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A new bill deals specifically with the Child Abuse Hotline and civil child maltreatment cases here in Arkansas.

Instead of going through the Arkansas Department of Public Safety and Arkansas State Police, those cases and the hotline would go to the Department of Human Services (DHS).

State Senator Kim Hammer says the point of the legislation is to prevent the mishandling of cases by DHS.

“Part of the dropping the ball, I think, is because it’s gotta go from one to the other and the transition is not as seamless or smooth,” Hammer said. “Hopefully, what it’s gonna do is increase the ability to respond quicker.”

Hammer said this would not change staffing for anyone who currently deals with these cases, those impacted would just be under DHS now.

Hammer added that legislators plan to add more jobs to this department in the future to help manage the cases.

The bill has been referred to a house committee to be read for the first time.

It was submitted with an emergency clause stating that if it’s signed into law, it’ll go into effect immediately.