Written By Jan Smolinski and Larry Ramsdell
Three years ago we
stepped into Congressman Murphy's office not knowing what the reaction
would be. When I presented to the Congressman statistics of over 100,000
missing persons, 40,000 unidentified remains in Medical examiners
offices, DNA (Codis), NamUs, NCIC, and other databases to try help
locate missing persons and help families receive the resolution
desperately needed but ultimately the disconnects within the system. I
tried to impress upon him the damaged lives within families through no
fault of their own. I mentioned disconnects within police departments,
medical examiners, databases~clearinghouses not connected it brought
realization that there is a huge problem in this country that needed to
In addition, I mentioned to him the ill-effect on families, depression, divorce, bankruptcies, substance abuse, strokes, ill heath
all related to not knowing where a loved one is.
It took two visits, first one I wasn't sure if he understood, second visit the Congressman not only listened but realized the
importance, he grasped the information along with his Judiciary Staffer
Linda Foreman. They called meetings with the Department of Justice, FBI
and other authorities to recognize the best way to proceed forward.
A phone call from Congressman Murphy's office over a year later let me know they had come to a fair way to create a bill that would help
find the missing became a breath of fresh air. I was told, to date there
are over 17,000 police departments in this country not all are equipped
with Internet access, hard to believe but true.
Find the Missing Act ~Billy's Law was created to address the silent crisis plaguing our nation. Billy's Law is asking for incentives (10
million dollars a year for 5 years to help educate law enforcement to
learn the new database NamUs, collect DNA and make the proper entries.)
The technology is here, CSI we are not, but we have the capabilities. If
the departments except the incentive they need to prove the monies were
used for that purpose only.
In August of 2009 the Bill was introduced into Congress, FIRST the House Judiciary committee co sponsors were needed, the bill was bi
partisan,meaning (both democrats and republicans agreeing) Congressman
Murphy(D) and Congressman Poe(R) both sponsors of the bill gained many
co sponsors as well. January 23, 2010 testimony took place in DC and
February the vote was taken within the House~~ the bill erupted with
victory, an unanimous vote YEA'S.
The bill was now to pass onto the Senate side of Congress with Senator Lieberman as sponsor. The plan was to try and expedite the bill
through but the trade off is all 100 Senators need to agree on passage
of the bill. Senator Coburn put the brakes on the bill and it came to a
sudden halt when he opposed because of budget and the incentives offered
Now the bill needs to move through the Senate exactly the way it needed to pass through the House.
However ALWAYS when a bill gets as far as the Senate it slows down and is much harder to get passage.
It cannot be accomplished with a few people it needs everyone involved ~a VILLAGE of people. This is everyone's bill I am just a conveyor or voice. This is yours, make it happen and say the bill became law because it was
your efforts. The government is here to serve all of us but it needs ALL to show there is a need. We are almost there~ Hope, Perseverance and Faith will make it happen.
NEW PLAN OF ACTION EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY
As you all know this Bill is in the Senate at this time and must follow the same exact procedure as it did in the house, and that is to first be voted on by the Judiciary committee and then on to the floor of the Senate. This will be done in two stages working simultaneously listed below.
THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
This is for people who live in a state with a member of the Senate in the Judiciary Committee. You will be doing the exact same thing as you have and that is emailing the members of the Committee to co sponsor this Bill, the only difference is You will be emailing the members of the committee in YOUR state only.
Remember this is the next step in the political process and a VERY IMPORTANT ONE. For anyone who live in a state with a committee member this must be passed on to the people in your state Either through Social media, conversation, anyway that you see fit, but this message has to be spread so others may become part of the political process to get this Bill by the Committee. IF IT DOES NOT GET BY THE COMMITTEE IT DIES HERE.
Here is the link to the Judiciary Committee members
NOTE: Senator Coburn of Oklahoma and Senator Sessions of Alabama both who are on the Judiciary Committee have issues with this Bill because of the Goverment spending. Remember the way we get them to change there minds is through your emails. Being negative right now will only hurt not help.
ALL NON COMMITTEE US SENATORS
Remember there are 100 US Senators and only 19 are on the Judiciary Committee. For anyone who lives in a state that does not have there Senator on the Judiciary Committee you will contacting Senators in your own state ONLY, and asking them to co sponsor Billy's Law S3019. This will be done the way it has in the past either through email, writing letters, or phone. Also if your a family member of a missing loved please briefly tell your story.
Here is a link to all US Senators
Remember if this Bill does not make it through there will not be another one like it, and this is the only way to make a difference and achieve hope for the families.