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.
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Lawmakers in at least two other states have shown interest in the measure, and others are likely to follow suit.