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Child safety seat bill moving

ST. PAUL - Minnesota children younger than 8 must be buckled in a booster seat or other restraint if a preliminarily Senate-passed bill becomes law.

Senators initially approved the proposal on a voice vote Monday, with final approval expected Thursday.

Current law requires children younger than 4 to be in a child's seat. Booster and other safety seats save injuries and money, supporters said.

"The No. 1 killer of children over the age of 3 is automobile crashes," Rep. Jim Carlson, DFL-Eagan, said.

Rep. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, spoke to the full Senate for the first time since taking office last month. Drawing from years as Douglas County sheriff, he said the seats are vital for safety, but he would not say much.

"We don't have enough time to talk about all the maim and dismemberment I have seen over the years," he said.

Added Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing: "If you don't have them (children) buckled into the appropriate booster seat and you get into a crash, the results will be disastrous for your family."

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.