A state legislator may have started a national movement, now that the “Travis Alert Act” has won overwhelming legislative approval and is on its way to Gov. Jay Inslee.
The bill is named for Travis King, a 12-year-old Wapato boy with autism. His parents, Theresa and Darren King, have sought ways to inform first responders about what they should do if they encounter Travis; like many with autism, he is prone to wandering from home and has trouble communicating.
Travis’ case caught the attention of 14th District Rep. Gina McCabe, R-Goldendale, whose bill easily cleared both chambers. Among the provisions of House Bill 1258 is a requirement that the state create a training program. The state also would study the feasibility of allowing information about a disabled person to be displayed in the 911 call system to alert police, firefighters and paramedics; family members would voluntarily provide this information.
We urge Gov. Jay Inslee to heed the overwhelming will of the Legislature and sign the measure into law.
Lawmakers in at least two other states have shown interest in the measure, and others are likely to follow suit.