Since it began in 1991, North Carolinas Child Fatality Task Force has been behind numerous laws that helped the state better its child death rate from 107 children to 57.4 children per 100,000.
Over the years, the task force has recommended a series of seat belt and car seat laws, a safe haven law that allows parents to leave unharmed newborns at safe places and numerous prenatal and infant care policies to reduce infant mortality.
Now the House budget would effectively bring the task force made up of one state employee who makes $62,500 and the rest volunteers to an end. Rep. Justin Burr, an Albemarle Republican and a chief budget writer, said the task force has finished serving its purpose.
Given that the state still ranks in the mid-20s when it comes to child death rates across the nation, perhaps not. Given that more than 1,600 Tar Heel children still die each year, emphatically not.
As our society and technology continuously evolve, new dangers inevitably crop up. Theres no good reason the Child Fatality Task Force should stop keeping its eye out.