Gavin’s Law fails to move beyond state Senate committee for legislative year

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FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — After falling short of one vote on Friday, Gavin’s Law will not have a reconsideration hearing in the Senate Public Safety Committee.

Gladding worked at Fort Washington elementary and was well-loved and respected. Assemblyman Jim Patterson has been fighting hard for this law with Gavin’s family and they are all disappointed it didn’t go through.

“My family’s life was changed forever, my husband, my best friend and father of my two young children, Gavin Gladding was stolen from us by a reckless hit-and-run driver,” said Gladding’s wife, Susan. 

It’s been nearly two years since Gladding was killed in a hit-and-run while out jogging near Friant Road.

His wife and family have been fighting hard these last couple of years along with Patterson to fix the current law. 

Gavin’s Law would mandate a punishment of up to six years in prison and a specified fine if a hit-and-rum crash leads to permanent or serious injury. 

It also proposes a prison punishment of up to eight years and a fine if a hit-and-run crash ends in death. 

“There’s a huge perverse incentive for people who hit, hurt, kill to leave because if they do they will face a much lower sentence then if they stay, called for help, gave assistance, became a responsible human being,” Patterson said. 

After receiving an overwhelming 72 votes on the Assembly floor, the bill written in Gladding’s honor, fell one vote short on Friday from the Senate Public Safety Committee.

Patterson asking them to reconsider the bill but on Wednesday they announced they will not.

“We tried very very hard from Friday until today to get that one additional vote necessary but we were unable to do so and so we have not been able to be reconsidered and the voted from Friday stands and Gavin’s Law has, we lost Gavin’s Law for this session by one vote and needless to say we’re all disappointed,” he said. 

Patterson says if they want to introduce the bill again it would have wait until next year. He says it’s also up to the family if they want to pursue it and go through the process and relive this awful tragedy again.

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