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Senate committee approves Tiffany Hill Act

A proposed law to provide electronic monitoring and victim notification cleared a Senate committee Thursday.

Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, sponsored Senate Bill 5149, which she has named “The Tiffany Hill Act” for the former Marine sergeant and Vancouver mother who was killed by her estranged husband outside a Hazel Dell elementary school in November.

“This technology is about sending an alert to a mobile phone, in real time, when the abuser or stalker gets closer than allowed,” Wilson said in a statement. “Tiffany’s story really brings home the simplicity of what’s being proposed and the value it could hold for the thousands of people in our state who seek protection orders each year.”

The Senate Law and Justice Committee gave the bill a unanimous “do pass” recommendation after a short discussion.

Lauren Boyd, a Clark County prosecuting attorney, testified before the committee last week that Hill’s husband waited in the school parking lot for 30 minutes before killing his wife and shooting his mother-in-law, in front of their three children.

Tanya Wollstein, a Vancouver police detective who worked on the case, told the committee that Hill’s husband had repeatedly violated provisions of a protection order. If he had been required to wear an electronic bracelet with real-time notification to his victim, Hill might still be alive today, she said.

This is the third consecutive year that Wilson and her committee colleagues have backed legislation to provide electronic monitoring and victim notification.

“I really hope we can get this bill all the way through to the House,” Wilson said. “At the very best, it can save lives. And at the very least, it can give the victims of domestic violence some control and some sense of peace in their lives.”

Wilson’s legislation was passed by the full Senate in 2018 but sidelined in the House. The bill stalled in the Senate Ways and Means Committee in 2019.

This year, the chair of the Law and Justice committee chose to send SB 5149 straight to the Senate Rules Committee, which selects bills for the voting calendar.

“I’m on the budget committee and would have been ready to tell Tiffany’s story to my colleagues there,” Wilson said. “But the fewer stops this bill has to make on its way to the governor’s desk, the better. The Tiffany Hill Act needs to become law this year so it can give others the opportunity she deserved but didn’t get.”


Source: https://www.columbian.com

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