House unanimously passes Tiffany Hill Act

Sen. Lynda Wilson, left, applauds members of “Team Tiffany” who came from Clark County today to witness the House of Representatives’ passage of the Tiffany Hill Act. Several had testified in support of the bill as it moved through the lawmaking process.

OLYMPIA… Today the state House of Representatives joined the Senate in unanimously approving the Tiffany Hill Act, which will help victims of domestic violence and similar crimes to protect themselves. The bill’s prime sponsor, Sen. Lynda Wilson, said once a minor change made by the House is confirmed by the Senate, Senate Bill 5149 will head to Gov. Jay Inslee.

“We’re almost there. I’ve said again and again how this bill needs to become law this year, and I’m completely confident that will happen. It’s simply a matter of putting on the finishing touches,” said Wilson, R-Vancouver.

The state Senate has until March 12, the final day of the 2020 legislative session, to agree with the change made today in the House.

Wilson’s proposal, first introduced in 2018, would promote the use of electronic-monitoring technology to enable real-time notification of victims of domestic violence and similar crimes when their abuser or attacker is nearby. She renamed the legislation this year in honor of Hill, a 35-year-old former Marine Corps sergeant, who was fatally shot by her estranged husband Nov. 26 while parked with her mother and her three children at their elementary school in Hazel Dell.

Had the bill become law already, the technology would have alerted Hill that her abuser was close by and allowed her to take countermeasures – something the protection order she obtained from a Clark County court could not do.

“The concept is simple: when the abuser or stalker gets closer than the court allows, you get an alert on your phone. Tiffany Hill’s story makes it even easier to understand how this could benefit any number of the thousands of people who obtain restraining orders each year,” Wilson said.

SB 5149 was unanimously endorsed by the House Appropriations Committee on Saturday, setting the stage for today’s vote.