House approves Padden bill to compensate parents of crime victims who are minors

On Thursday the House of Representatives voted 97-0 to approve Sen. Mike Padden’s measure to allow a parent of a minor child who is the victim of a crime to receive benefits under the Crime Victims’ Compensation Program.

“This bill is about providing parents with some relief when their lives and the lives of their children are thrown into upheaval by a criminal,” said Padden, R-Spokane Valley. “In a legislative session that has been marred by an unfathomable preoccupation with showing concern and support for criminals, it is nice to see a bill pass that is about showing support for crime victims and their families.”

Under Second Substitute Senate Bill 6181, the parent of a victim who is a minor would be able to recover up to 30 days’ lost wages due to time spent accompanying the child to medical or counseling services or criminal-justice proceedings. Parents would not be able to receive any benefits if the injury or death was due to the parent’s own actions.

The victim’s parent would be able to apply for benefits up to three years after the date the crime was reported to law enforcement.

“When a minor child is the victim of a crime, it can mean lost wages and bills for the parents as they take time to accompany their child to court proceedings, medical appointments or counseling services,” Padden explained. “The family ends up being victimized again, this time financially, as sick leave and vacation leave are quickly exhausted, and medical bills stack up.

“This bill will help these families face the financial burdens that have been inflicted on them by criminals.”