LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Jim Runestad said Thursday that he intends to introduce legislation that will provide more transparency between state lawmakers and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services following the accidental deaths of a Pontiac mother and two of her children.
“Under current state and federal statutes, I am told that MDHHS is extremely limited — to the point of absolutely zero information — in what it can share with the Legislature in regard to Children’s Protective Services cases, including whether or not the department has even had contact with a particular family,” said Runestad, R-White Lake. “While strict privacy laws are rightly protected, there must also be room for investigation and oversight when tragedies occur in order to prevent future incidents and provide justice when necessary. There should be some provision for any state legislator to confidentially know basic information under specific circumstances.”
Monica Cannady and her two sons were found froze to death in a field on Sunday. Oakland Country Sheriff Michael Bouchard called the deaths “accidental but preventable,” noting Cannady suffered a mental health crisis and refused help from relatives.