U.S. House passes `Baylee's Law'

Wednesday, September 27th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill named in honor of the 1-year-old girl whose death became a powerful symbol of the Oklahoma City bombing.

Under "Baylee's Law," parents would have to be notified before enrolling their child in a federal child-care center about what other tenants were in the building and how secure the building was.

The measure passed on Tuesday was named for Baylee Almon, one of 15 children killed in a second-floor day care center during the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The April 19, 1995, explosion killed 168 in all and injured at least 500 others.

Rep. Bob Franks, R-N.J., who wrote the legislation, on Tuesday recalled the picture of the child's body being held by an Oklahoma City firefighter and said the image "still haunts us all."

Franks said Aren Almon-Kok, Baylee's mother, "had every reason to believe Baylee would be safe. ... She had no idea that the day care center was in the same building as federal agencies that often receive terrorist threats."

The legislation -- which passed by a voice vote without dissent -- would apply only to child-care centers in public buildings controlled by the federal General Services Administration.

It requires that the GSA gauge the safety of child-care centers in public buildings and report to Congress about how security can be improved.

The report to Congress must include an assessment of whether steps have been taken to limit the damage and injuries from flying glass.

Almon-Kok has testified before Congress about the need for shatterproof glass.

She is a spokeswoman for the Protecting People First Foundation, a private group created by a Rhode Island company that sells and installs shatterproof glass.

The private group tries to raise awareness about the deadly effects of flying glass caused by a bombing or natural disaster.