Florida Governor Signs Legislation to Protect Children from Exploitation and Combat Domestic Violence, Inspired by Gabby Petito’s Tragic Story

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a series of bills on Wednesday aimed at protecting children from exploitation and online predators, as well as a domestic violence bill inspired by the tragic killing of Gabby Petito. During a news conference in St. Petersburg, DeSantis signed five pieces of legislation. One of the bills, referred to as the “Gabby Petito Act” or SB 1224, requires law enforcement officers investigating domestic violence incidents to administer a lethality assessment under certain circumstances. The assessment involves asking a series of questions to determine if the victim … Read more

Pennsylvania Senators Propose Comprehensive Legislation to Protect Sexually Exploited Children

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – State Senators Dan Laughlin and Cris Dush have announced their plan to introduce new legislation that aims to address gaps in the current safe harbor laws for sexually exploited children in Pennsylvania. The proposed legislation will extend the scope to cover all criminal offenses related to the exploitation of children, rather than specific offenses. This broader approach ensures that victims receive necessary assistance and protections, regardless of the circumstances. Laughlin, a Republican representing the 49th district, emphasized the need to change the legal treatment of sexually exploited children and implement provisions to … Read more

Oregon Passes Landmark Stalking Bill to Protect Victims from Emerging Technology

St. Helens, Oregon – The Oregon House and Senate have recently passed a bill aimed at updating the state’s stalking laws to address the advances in technology that weren’t accounted for when the original laws were written. The bill, known as House Bill 4156, is currently awaiting Governor Tina Kotek’s signature and is set to take effect on July 1, 2024. The motivation behind the bill’s modernization comes in part from the efforts of St. Helens Police Detective Sergeant Matt Smith. Smith’s involvement with the bill began when a local stalking case was brought to … Read more

Proposed Bill Seeks to Protect Law Enforcement at State Universities and Reform Officer Misconduct Investigations

DES MOINES, Iowa — Law enforcement protections at state universities in Iowa could see significant changes if a newly passed bill becomes law. The bill, known as House Study Bill 738, aims to prevent state universities from implementing policies that restrict police from enforcing local, state, or municipal laws. It also proposes that the attorney general investigate complaints against universities for potential violations. Under the bill, state universities found by civil court to have intentionally discouraged or barred law enforcement from enforcing laws would be denied state funds for the fiscal year in which the … Read more