Joey's Law moves forward from Kansas Senate to House

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HAYS, Kan. (KAKE) -

Lawmakers in the Kansas Senate passed SB 74 and have moved the bill to the House Committee on Transportation this week.

The bill would would allow individuals to identify themselves as people needing assistance with cognition. People who opt-in would be able to choose options like a placard or decal to caution law enforcement officers.

"I think this is just another tool for law enforcement. It would be a good heads up for law enforcement," said Sen. Rick Billinger, R-Goodland.

Billinger introduced the bill in the Senate last month. On Wednesday, SB 74 passed as amended, 28-11.

One senator who opposed the bill was concerned that the bill was too broad.

"I think there was some shared concern that the bill needed to be more focused and really could help young people like Joey," said Sen. Tom Haw, D-Manhattan.

The bill is named after Joey Weber, who was killed in an officer-involved shooting in Hays.

On August 18, 2016, the 36-year-old man led officers on a chase and then struggled with an officer before he was shot once in the chest. Weber's parents said their son panicked when he was pulled over.

"The officer yelled at him to begin with. Of course Joey being autistic, that pretty much put him in defense mode right away," said John Weber, father.

His parents have turned the tragedy into Joey's Law.

"Nancy and I would hate to see another family experience what we have had to go through," said Weber. "Our hope is to not have any thing like this happen in the state of Kansas again."

SB 74 has been assigned to the Kansas House of Representatives.

To learn more about SB 74, click here.

To learn more about the Justice for Joey initiative, click here.

John Weber's Presentation to the Senate Transportation Committee

Testimonial Support of "Joey's Law" SB 74 - February 9, 2017

The people of Kansas need Joey's Law.  If a law like this would have existed prior to August 18, 2016, Joey would likely be alive today.

Nancy and I would hate to see another family experience the tragedy that we have had to endure.

This law would also be beneficial to law enforcement.  Like my cousin, the Gove County Sheriff, said, "People don't like to be labeled, but sometimes it would be good if they were".  

Please give this bill favorable consideration.

John Weber

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