'Alianna Alert' bill passes Senate vote, moves on to a vote with House

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Ohio Senate Bill 82, also known as the "Alianna Alert Bill," passed the Ohio Senate floor Wednesday with a 33-0 vote.

A committee in Columbus voted on the bill at 11 a.m. on Wednesday

Democratic Sen. Sandra Williams of Cleveland introduced SB 82 in response to the murder of Alianna DeFreeze, the 14-year-old girl who boarded an RTA bus in Jan. 2017. She never made it to school.

Alianna's family didn't even know she wasn't in class until later that day.  Alianna was raped, tortured and murdered, her body found in a vacant home, 3 days after she went me 45-year old sex offender Christopher Whitaker was convicted and sentenced to death

Supporters of Alianna Alert say it's long overdue after thousands of people signed a change.org petition online early last year

Williams introduced the Alianna Alert bill last spring. It would require schools to make at least one attempt to call parents within two hours of the start of school if a child is absent and parents have not already notified the schools of an absence.

Now the bill moves to the House for a committee hearing and floor vote.

Alianna's father, Damon DeFreeze tells Cleveland 19 News he's "ecstatic" about the vote and says their family is very appreciative of everyone who worked to pass the bill. He still feels that 120 minutes should be brought down to a half-hour but he's happy to get something moving.

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