Survivors Abduction Act : Push for a victim's bill, statewide, underway
Michelle Knight, Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -
In Columbus there's a push to set up survivors Michelle Knight, Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry -- for life.
The legislation will provide financial help, but who will pay for it?
Its Ohio House Bill 197 and it will have it's first committee vote Wednesday. And its expected to pass.
The Survivors Abduction Act is specifically looking to help the Ariel Castro victims.
No one can change the past for the Ariel Castro's victims but State Representative John Barnes from Cleveland has put together a bill that would go a long way to helping their futures.
Under House Bill 197 for anyone held against their will for eight years or more, the victim will get $25,000 for every year held in captivity, free tuition room and board at any state school, and free health care, in the form of medicaid, for life.
An overwhelming majority of people we talked to support the bill.
"Probably a good idea. They had no control over what happened to them. And they deserve that chance to their feet, to get their life back together," said one Cleveland resident.
Considering the state cash payments alone to each of the woman would be more than $200,000, the question of who's paying for it is a valid one.
According to the Ohio Attorney General Office the money comes from the Ohio Victims of Crime fund. That fund is built with court fees, fines and costs -- meaning no direct taxpayer money.
But yet there are some critical of a plan for the state to get involved.
"Well it kind of takes the heart out of donations. And where does it stop? I think stuff like that should be from a persons heart," said another resident.
Some question why the cut off is eight years.
Representative Barnes told Reporter Dan Deroos it's to make sure all three women get in under this law, and to make sure the law is pretty specific about who it's aimed at helping.