Kansas lawmakers hold a hearing for ‘Joey Weber Act’

Local

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Legislators heard testimony about the Joey Weber Act, a bill created in honor of the autistic man shot and killed by a Hays police officer last August.

On Wednesday, the Weber family re-lived their son Joey’s last moments, but this time, they were filled with different emotions.

“I felt a little more at ease, knowing that something is being done,” said John Weber. “You know, it’s a very positive feeling.”

They listened to Wichita Rep. Gail Finney present the Joey Weber Act to legislators, a moment they’ve been waiting months for.

“For me, it’s almost unbelievable. Here we are, talking about Joey and the state of Kansas in the Capitol,” said Weber.

The bill allows for a notice on a vehicle registration that the person “needs assistance with cognition, including, but not limited to, persons with autism spectrum disorder, or is responsible for the transportation of such a person.”

It would be voluntary to provide that information.

The act also allows for a notice on a driver’s license or state ID.

There was also a suggestion by law enforcement to allow that person to receive a placard to put on their car, similar to the indication for a disabled or handicapped driver.

The Weber family said they felt like committee members were interested in learning more, and they feel optimistic about the bill’s future.

“I think the committee was very positive about everything. Everyone feels this problem does need to be addressed,” said Weber. “This should not happen again.”

Now that the hearing is over, the committee still needs to vote on whether to advance it to the house.  According to Finney, a decision on  that could happen sometime next week.

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