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We have two primary objections to this bill. The first is that by increasing the level of education required to perform a study described by this legislation, people who are perfectly qualified to conduct a study but not credentialed would be barred from conducting a study. This infringes on free markets and individual liberty and is similar to occupational licensing. Aiming for higher quality is not problematic. Assuming that a credential automatically confers qualification is problematic.
Our second objection is that Article II of this legislation would prohibit expert witness testimony from anyone other than the person who conducted the child custody study. This would possibly prevent a parent in jeopardy of losing the custody of their child from bringing in an expert witness to rebut the testimony of the state's witness. Even if a parent would be allowed to have their own expert conduct a child custody study so that their expert could testify to rebut the government's witness (and it is unclear whether they would be able to), and even if they knew about this right, it would likely be very expensive for them to do so. This is a violation of due process, parental rights, and individual liberty. There is simply no good reason to limit testimony from an expert witness to one who conducted a specific study.
Because this legislation would abridge our limited government, personal responsibility, and individual liberty principles. We oppose SB 820.