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Congress should keep trying to pass Kelsey Smith Act

Yoder
Yoder

The Kelsey Smith Act, named for the victim of a Kansas murder, fell short of the needed two-thirds procedural vote Monday in the U.S. House, with Reps. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita; Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka; and Kevin Yoder, R-Overland Park; voting “yes” and Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler/Hutchinson, not voting. The surprising defeat for House leadership reflected representatives’ concern about privacy and police power. But the bill’s focus is narrow, requiring companies to quickly provide cellphone location data to law enforcement in emergency situations. The best argument for passage is what might have been if it hadn’t taken police four days to obtain cellphone data after the Overland Park teenager was kidnapped in 2007. Yoder, who sponsored the legislation, said: “I look forward to the bill being brought back to (the) House floor when a simple majority vote can get it passed.” Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., has reintroduced a similar Senate measure, which mirrors laws passed by more than 20 states including Kansas. – Rhonda Holman

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