For Immediate Release
September 23, 2016
Contact: Margitte Kristjansson, 619-548-4304
Senate Bill 1330 updates law enforcement’s “Be On the Lookout” bulletin to include people with developmental disabilities
Sacramento – Today Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1330 into law. The bill, which was sponsored by the United Domestic Workers/AFSCME Local 3930 (UDW) and authored by Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton), updates the “Be On the Lookout” bulletin to include individuals who are cognitively impaired or developmentally disabled.
The “Be On the Lookout” alert is a tool used by California law enforcement to quickly search for and locate a missing person who is at-risk. Previously, legislation limited the scope of “at-risk” to a person who is mentally impaired. A small update to the law now ensures that the estimated 250,000 Californians who live with developmental disabilities are covered as well.
“We’re thankful to Senator Galgiani for her leadership on SB 1330,” said UDW Executive Director Doug Moore. “The bill made a small but critical update to a policy that affects many families in California. Every minute a loved one is missing is terrifying, and every moment counts. By updating the law’s language to include those who are cognitively impaired and people with developmental disabilities, we can give more peace of mind to thousands of families in our state.”
Half of the parents surveyed by the National Institutes of Health reported that their children with autism spectrum disorder wandered away from home or their families, and a quarter of those who wandered were missing long enough to be considered in danger.
“My son is getting older and is prone to wander. Signing SB 1330 into law means that law enforcement will know he is a person with developmental disabilities and therefore at higher risk,” said UDW Vice President Astrid Zuniga, who helped champion the bill. Astrid’s son Manuel lives with severe autism, and she works as his in-home care provider in Stanislaus County. “This bill could save lives by giving police officers a better understanding of who they are looking for.”
United Domestic Workers of America (UDW)/AFSCME Local 3930 is a home care union made up of nearly 94,000 in-home caregivers across the state of California. UDW caregivers provide care through the state’s In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS), which allows over half a million California seniors and people with disabilities to stay safe and healthy at home.