Relatives of Nathan Key think Blackmon killed Nathan’s Law b/c he “wanted credit”

Relatives of Nathan Key are concerned a lawmaker “wanted credit” for a piece of legislation, which is why they say it did not make it to the House floor for a vote.

Senate Bill 2505, also known as Nathan’s Law, would have created a newly-defined felony for injuring a child while illegally passing a school bus and increased penalties for drivers who illegally pass buses.

Drivers would have faced a five-year jail sentence upon conviction.

Nathan, a 5-year-old Jones County boy, died after being struck by a car on Dec. 11 while getting off a school bus just north of Laurel.

Andy Key, Nathan’s father, said Rep. Ed Blackmon, D-Canton, wanted Democrats to be more involved with the legislation creation and watered down the bill.

“If we had discussed it with [House Democrats] before it was introduced and shared the credit with them, then it would have passed,” Andy Key said. “And that bothers me. … It’s all political.”

Blackmon, chairman of the House Judiciary A Committee, said the claim was unfounded.

“I’ve never said anything to them about coming to me first, that’s ridiculous,” he said. “I wouldn’t want everybody coming to me, that would be impossible, we have thousands of bills, and it would be impossible for everyone to come to us.”

Hattiesburg American
3/31/10