MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Five-year-old Kamden Johnson’s death is sparking action in Congress. The House of Representatives on Tuesday adopted an amendment by Democratic Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell — whose district covers Tuscaloosa and Birmingham — which prohibits federal grant funding from going to child care centers with a record of injury or death due to health or safety violations. Representative Sewell introduced the amendment in response to Kamden’s death. The amendment is attached to a package of appropriations bills expected to pass the House this week.
“My amendment is a commonsense fix following a tragedy that we cannot allow to happen again,” said Rep. Sewell in a press release. “Kamden Johnson’s death this August was not the first child death at an unregulated day care center in Alabama, and it will not be the last so long as we continue to fund centers that violate health and safety standards.”
Governor Kay Ivey said she believes all day care centers in Alabama should be regulated by the state. Other state lawmakers have expressed support for that. It’s a topic that could be addressed in the Alabama Legislative Session in 2018.
Kamden Johnson died after being left in a day care van at Community Nursery & Preschool Academy on Hillcrest Road. Day care worker Valarie Patterson is charged with manslaughter in Kamden’s death.