For Immediate Release: February 2, 2018
Contact: Ross Chambless, Communications Specialist
Utah House Democratic Caucus
(801) 326-1568 | firstname.lastname@example.org
House Committee Unanimously Approves Two Domestic Violence Bills
Salt Lake City – This afternoon the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee approved H.B. 165, ‘Pretrial Release Amendments,’ by a unanimous vote of 10 to 0. The Committee also passed S.B. 27, ‘Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Amendments,’ by a unanimous vote of 10 to 0.
S.B.27 (Sponsored by Sen. Todd Weiler/Rep. Angela Romero, House Floor sponsor) and H.B.165 (Sponsored by Rep. Romero/Sen. Weiler the Senate Floor sponsor) are results of a joint effort between legislators, prosecutors, law enforcement, advocates, and survivors of domestic violence. S.B.27 increases the ability for law enforcement to protect victims of stalking and violence, and their family members. H.B.165 provides clear guidelines for prosecutors and law enforcement regarding the pretrial process. It also offers additional protections to survivors of domestic violence to limit the interaction of the aggressor with the victim and his or her family.
Rep. Angela Romero, the House sponsor of both bills, said regarding H.B. 165, “Survivors of domestic abuse need to be protected and feel supported during the pretrial process. Currently, many survivors are in danger from their aggressors and are intimidated or abused during pretrial from testifying and/or pursuing litigation.” She further added, “We also need to take issues such as stalking and dating violence seriously. These bills provide much needed protection, and while they represent an important first step, there is still much to be done regarding sexual abuse and harassment.”
Rep. Hollins, serving on the Committee, added, “These bills demonstrate that we stand behind victims of domestic abuse and stalking and give them the full support of the law. We want to do everything in our power to protect survivors and their families from harm, and to ensure our criminal justice system is prepared to deal with these cases.”
S.B.27 and H.B.165 now go to the full House for consideration.