creating a nationwide system to help find kidnapped children and impose
tougher penalties on child abusers, kidnappers and pornographers is awaiting
President Bush's signature, The Associated Press reported.
April 10 passed the package of child safety laws, including a provision
to go national with the popular “Amber Alert” child kidnapping notification
passed the bill 400-25 only hours before the Senate concurred with a 98-0
vote. Bush promised to sign the bill as soon as possible.
and well-being of our children is a shared priority for all Americans,” the
president said in a statement. “We must use every available resource to
find and safely return missing children to their families and their homes,
and we must use every available tool to vigorously prosecute and punish
those who would do our children harm.”
was sought by the family of Elizabeth Smart, who was recovered in March
after being taken from her bedroom in Salt Lake City last year. The national
network would be named after Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old girl abducted
in Arlington, TX, and later found murdered.
would provide matching grants to states and communities for equipment and
training for the network, which will quickly distribute information about
kidnapped children and their abductors through radio and television broadcasts
and electronic highway signs.