Emma's Law clears another major hurdle
Wed, 02 Apr 2014 23:23:44 GMT —
COLUMBIA (WACH) - Wednesday began with an emotional rally on the State House steps, calling for support of Emma's Law.
Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins stood alongside the Longstreet family to show support for the Bill, which would put an interlock device on the car of a driver who's been convicted of a DUI.
Jenkins lost his three year old grand nephew, Josiah, to a drunk driver.
But he believes Josiah and Emma's lives were not lost in vain.
"What happened to them two, and so many others, I believe is going to make a really big impact. So yeah, my heart is broken and I'm still shedding tears, but I get the comfort in knowing that those two did something, or were sacrificed, in order to bring some good in other people's lives." says Jenkins.
And it seems like the House of Representatives agrees.
It gave the green light to have Emma's law move forward to its third reading on Thursday.
The third reading is done mostly as a formality, and then it moves on to the Senate.
The Senate has to okay any amendments, and if they do, the Bill then goes to Governor Haley.
For one of the Bill's biggest supporters, that day can't come soon enough.
"It's one of those times when you know when you're doing it that it has a meaningful impact on South Carolinians and it will save lives, there's no question. And if we can get this Bill passed and hopefully get the Senate to concur in those amendments, we'll start saving lives immediately." says Representative Rick Quinn, who has been a public supporter of the Bill since its inception.
Emma's dad, David Longstreet, is hoping all goes well in the Senate.
If it does, he says that step would be monumental.
"It is a...I guess a campaign...or a quest...to look for more improvement so maybe next year we can get a little bit better on the Bill and look at some of these amendements that were discussed previously in the committee meetings and we can make them probably into a law." David states.
But for now, David says the family is hoping to have Governor Haley sign off on the bill by May 29th, which is Emma's birthday.