Dalton’s Law Denied Hearing in Senate

From Rep. Nelson Press Release 5-25-07:

Dalton’s Law denied a hearing by Senate Judiciary Committee

SALEM — Oregon State Representative Donna Nelson (R-McMinnville) expressed her disappointment with the Senate Judiciary Committee for refusing to hold hearings for Dalton’s Law, House Bill 3176.

“It makes no sense to me,” Representative Nelson stated. “This bill has such strong support, having passed the House of Representatives unanimously””you’d think something so important as Dalton’s Law would at least merit a hearing in the Senate.”

Dalton’s Law would give law enforcement the ability to use vehicle location services, such as OnStar and LoJack, to assist in missing persons investigations and to fight crime. It could be used to find missing children during Amber Alerts, return lost elderly people or Alzheimer’s patients to safety, help police respond immediately to violent carjackings, or rescue families lost on snowy roads. Kati Kim, widow of James Kim, has shared her family’s support of House Bill 3176.

Other supporters of the bill include the Oregon State Police Officers Association, the Oregon State Sheriffs Association, the Oregon District Attorneys Association, the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Crime Victims United, and numerous individual police chiefs and search and rescue personnel.

The bill has drawn national attention, resulting in letters of support from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and John Walsh, the host of America’s Most Wanted. As Walsh stated, “Oregon House Bill 3176 saves time, saves the resources of law enforcement, and saves lives, and I support Dalton’s Law.”

Dalton’s Law has important support within the Senate. Senators from both political parties, plus the only independent in the legislature, have signed on as co-sponsors. Even Senate Majority Leader Kate Brown (D-Portland) has put her name on the bill. However, despite the overwhelming support for Dalton’s Law, the Senate Judiciary Committee has simply ignored it.

“I can’t understand it,” said Representative Nelson. “The timing of this is so significant, as just this week the Governor issued a proclamation naming today, May 25, “˜Missing Children Awareness Day.’ Here we are, supposedly concerned about helping missing children, and, at the same time, a common-sense bill that can find children and save lives is being denied a hearing””life saving legislation will die from legislative inaction.”

Under new rules adopted by the Legislative Assembly, bills that still have yet to be scheduled for a required hearing cannot advance any further without special permission from the President of the Senate.

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