McCabe revives Travis Alert Act for 2017 session

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McCabe revives Travis Alert Act for 2017 session

Rep. Gina McCabe, right, drops the Travis Alert Act into the Hopper with Travis King, left.Last week, the House Judiciary Committee heard testimony in support of a bill that would help persons with disabilities during emergencies. House Bill 1258, or the 'Travis Alert Act,' is  Rep. Gina McCabe's second attempt at the getting the bill enacted into law.

House Bill 1258 would allow people to optionally submit information pertaining to one's disability to the Enhanced 911 program so dispatchers could deliver critical information to first responders during emergencies. It would also create a training program for first responders, providing instruction for how to best respond to emergencies involving persons with special needs.

“Passing this bill would be an important first step in caring for the most vulnerable among us,” said McCabe, R-Goldendale. “My bill would provide both families and first responders with peace of mind, and would ensure kids like Travis and others with special needs receive the individualized care they need in emergencies.”

20170119_150203kbRyan Beckett, a realtor with RE/MAX Traditions in Yakima and father of a boy on the autism spectrum, also testified in favor of the bill.

“I didn't hesitate to testify on behalf of the Travis Alert bill,” said Beckett. “It would give families like mine a real sense of security in an emergency situation.”

McCabe first introduced the bill during the 2016 legislative session after hearing from Threasa King of Wapato, who wanted to make sure her son, Travis, who is autistic, would be appropriately cared for in an emergency. What began as a bill to aid autistic individuals transformed into a bill to encompass the needs of all persons with disabilities. It was approved by the House 96-1, but timed out in the Senate.

Travis was unable to make it to Olympia to testify in front of the House Judiciary Committee, but wrote a letter in favor of the bill.

House Bill 1258 is scheduled for an executive session Jan. 26, during which members of the House Judiciary Committee will vote on the bill's passage out of the committee.

PHOTO 1: Travis King, the Travis Alert Act's namsake, drops House Bill 1258 into the Hopper with Rep. Gina McCabe.

PHOTO 2: Ryan Beckett, a realtor with RE/MAX Traditions in Yakima and the father of an autistic boy, testifies in favor of House Bill 1258 in front of the House Judiciary Committee.



Washington State House Republican Communications