Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) was sworn in for a second term today, with his effort to establish a federal version of Katie's Law hours from becoming a reality. The President is expected to sign it into law sometime today. Tipton, who has pushed for a federal Katie's Law since being elected to Congress, was an original co-sponsor of the bill (H.R. 6014), which passed the House on December 18, 2012. Tipton also passed Katie's Law in Colorado when he was a state legislator.
The federal Katie's Law will authorize the Attorney General to award grants for states to implement minimum DNA collection standards and enhanced collection processes. It includes an offset (cut) in federal spending to pay for implementation of the program, so there is no added cost to taxpayers.
"I'm proud to have played a role in passing Katie's Law at the federal level, and am optimistic that as participation in the program grows, it will further strengthen law enforcement's ability to track down violent offenders, keep our women and children safe, and bring closure to cold cases," Tipton said. "Katie's Law has made a difference in Colorado, putting dangerous criminals behind bars that otherwise might be out on the streets, preventing future crime. This marks a tremendous victory for public safety."
Katie's Law joins a number of legislative accomplishments for Tipton, who in his first term saw seven of his legislative efforts pass the House, four of which became law.
"I'm incredibly honored to have earned the trust of the people of the 3rd Congressional District and to serve as their Representative for a second term. I will continue fighting to cut federal spending and shrink the size of government, standing up for seniors by protecting and strengthening valuable programs like Medicare and Social Security, and encouraging job creation by eliminating overregulation and reforming the tax code so hard working Americans can keep as much of their paychecks as possible," Tipton said. "I will also renew efforts from the previous Congress to ensure healthy forest management and wildfire prevention in the state of Colorado and across the West, as well as working to advance a responsible all of the above American energy plan to foster energy security and stability, as well as create thousands of needed jobs."
Tipton will serve on the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Small Business Committees in the 113th Congress.
Katie's Law is named after Katie Sepich, a young woman who was raped and murdered in Las Cruces, NM. Her killer was arrested following her death, but it wasn't until three years passed that he was convicted of a felony and his DNA was collected, linking him to Katie's murder. Currently, 25 states and the federal government have passed legislation to collect DNA samples from felony arrestees and submit them into the Nation DNA Index System (NDIS). The federal version of Katie's Law would provide incentives for states to participate in this program, expanding the size of the NDIS and building its effectiveness.
In the 112th Congressman Tipton passed:
H.R.1658: To name the Department of Veterans Affairs tele-health clinic in Craig, Colorado, as the "Major William Edward Adams Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic." (Became public law as a title under H.R. 2646)
H.R.2621: Chimney Rock National Monument Establishment Act (Passed in House and declared by Presidential proclamation)
H.R.2815: To revise the Federal charter for the Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc., to reflect a change in eligibility requirements for membership. (Became public law through Senate version)
H.R.2842: Bureau of Reclamation Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act of 2012 (Passed the House, received a subcommittee hearing in the Senate)
H.R.4381: Planning for American Energy Act of 2012 (Passed the House as a title under the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act)
H.AMDT.734 to H.R.2584: Amendment increases funding for land conservation and expanding access to public lands by $5 million offset by a reduction in funds of $5 million from the EPA's management accounts. (Became public law)
H.AMDT.1211 to H.R.5325 Amendment prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars to be used to conduct a federal survey in which money is included or provided for the benefit of the responder. (Passed the House)