Legislation to further protect kids in family court
ALBANY, NY (Erie News Now)-- Everyday Jacqueline Franchetti watches the school bus drive by her house, she thinks about her daughter Kyra who is not on it.
Monday, she pushed Kyra's Elmo doll, her favorite toy, in her stroller around the Capitol urging lawmakers to pass Kyra's law before the end of session.
“Kyra deserved to live, she deserved to be playing with other toys. Kyra should have turned 9 last month,” Franchetti said.
In July of 2016, 2-year-old Kyra was shot in the back twice by her father while she was sleeping.
Franchetti said she did everything she could to protect Kyra, warning the Long Island court handling her case that Kyra's father was unstable and violent.
Franchetti said the family court system failed her.
“Sunday is Mother’s Day. I’m not going to get a card from Kyra this year. I’m not going to get flowers; I’m not going to get a hug. Instead, I'll bring flowers to Kyra’s grave,” she said.
Kyra's law would require court judges to consider the health and safety of a child regarding custody and visitation.
It would also require officials to take part in training to handle cases involving domestic violence and child abuse.
Senator James Skoufis (D-42nd Senate District), a sponsor of the bill, said some officials within the Office of Court Administration don't like being told their system is broken.
“I simply don’t care that they don’t like being told those things. Because the simple matter of fact is there are courts, there are judges happening in this state today, that are not prioritizing the safety of those children,” Skoufis said.
In an email to Erie News Now, the Unified Court System declined to comment on this legislation.
There are 17 days left of legislative session. While this bill is currently undergoing amendments, some lawmakers said they will pass Kyra's law this year.