Tiffany Hill Act wins Senate committee’s endorsement

The Tiffany Hill Act has won its first vote in the state Senate. Introduced by Sen. Lynda Wilson and named for the former Marine sergeant and Vancouver mother of three who was slain by her estranged husband in November, the bill today received a unanimous recommendation from the Senate Law and Justice Committee.

This is the third consecutive year that Wilson and her colleagues on the committee have formally backed the bill, which would promote the use of real-time electronic victim-notification technology. She and others who testified in support of Senate Bill 5149 a week ago are convinced that had the bill already become law, the technology might have allowed Tiffany Hill to save her own life – something the protection order she had from a Clark County court could not do.

“This technology is about sending an alert to a mobile phone, in real time, when the abuser or stalker gets closer than allowed. 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,” said Wilson, R-Vancouver.

“I really hope we can get this bill all the way through to the House,” she told committee members prior to today’s vote. “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 by the House of Representatives. The bill stalled in the Senate Ways and Means Committee in 2019, but for 2020 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, 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.”