Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Get More State Help
Providing more tools to help in cases involving missing and murdered Indigenous people is the aim of bipartisan legislation that passed the Washington State House this week.
Mosbrucker calls the bill the Bring them home bill
The sponsor of House Bill 1571 Rep. Gina Mosbrucker, R-Goldendale calls the measure the Bring them home bill. She says "it's the next step in our effort to collaborate, investigate, find, and bring home the many missing and murdered Indigenous persons in our state. This bill would make sure tribes are allowed to pray over the body of a deceased person -- a member of their tribe -- before the body is moved without compromising the scene before an autopsy is conducted. This was one of the main requests from heartbroken families we spoke with during statewide meetings with tribal members in 2018."
The bill estblishes two programs that will help survivors of human trafficking
Mosbrucker says the bill also requires two grant programs be established by the Department of Commerce's Office of Crime Victims Advocacy to help with services and resources for Indigenous survivors of human trafficking.
Mosbrucker says a third requirement under the bill would require jails that release a person in custody who is the subject of a missing person's report to notify the agency of original jurisdiction that issued the report.
Mosbrucker says lawmakers have worked over the last five years
"These people who are missing and taken from their tribes are someone's daughter, someone's wife or grandchild, their aunt, or even their son. Can you imagine being alone, scared and not knowing whether Washington state is or is not using every single resource to find you and bring you home? That's the importance of this bill and the legislation we have passed over the last five years," says Mosbrucker, the prime sponsor of MMIP legislation, House Bill 2951 in 2018, and House Bill 1713 in 2019.
The measure passed 98-0. It now goes to the Senate for further consideration.