Michelle Parker's mom pushing lawmakers for grandparents' rights
ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
A mom who has seen so much tragedy is now working to help Florida's grandparents. She hopes you will call state lawmakers now so her efforts are not in vain.
When Yvonne Stewart is not cutting hair at her salon, she is crusading for more grandparents rights in Florida. She just testified before state senators this week, urging them to pass Senate Bill 384.
She says, "We're just asking for the right to go in front of a judge."
The bill would give grandparents more rights to visit their grandchildren when a parent goes missing, is killed or becomes incapacitated. Stewart's daughter Michelle Parker has been missing more than a year. Her ex-fiance Dale Smith has custody of their four year old twins and Stewart cannot see them regularly. Stewart wants lawmakers to take action now.
She says, "it's an emotional roller coaster. I miss my daughter. I love her children. They're killing me. This is so easy. Just please help us."
Tom Lee is Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Stewart met with him Monday, but is disappointed to learn Senate Bill 384 is not on the agenda for this Monday's committee meeting.
Stewart has a message for Senator Lee. "I want him to put it on the schedule. It's important. Grandparents in Florida need to be able to see their grandchildren."
House and Senate aides tell Fox 35 News the Senate Judiciary Committee has a large back log of bills right now, but they could still debate the bill in mid-April. They say House Bill 19 is stuck in the Healthy Families Subcommittee, which is done meeting for the year, but they are trying to move the legislation to the House Judiciary Committee where it could get a hearing.
Stewart urges you to call state lawmakers and urge them to support grandparents' visitation rights in Florida. Visit Facebook.com/MichelleParkerMissingPerson to get contact information for state lawmakers.