Breast cancer early-warning, body armor bills approved Monday by Senate

mammogramIn an effort to give women an earlier warning that they may develop breast cancer, members of the state Senate today passed Senate Bill 6040. A short time later, the Senate also approved Senate Bill 6025, toughening penalties for criminals who use body armor while committing their crimes. Both bills were introduced by west Pierce County Sen. Steve O’Ban.

“A family friend is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer that could have possibly been identified sooner had she been aware of the dense breast tissue in her body,” O’Ban said. “From where I stand, anything we as a state can do to help provide women with earlier warning will increase their chances of survival after diagnosis.”

Higher-density breast tissue can indicate a greater potential for cancer; SB 6040 would require that a patient and her doctor be notified if the results of a mammography show dense breast tissue is present. The measure passed 34-14.

Another of O’Ban’s bills, SB 6025, would enhance the penalty for someone convicted of a crime if he or she (or an accomplice) wore body armor during the commission of the crime. The 28th District Republican added if an individual puts on body armor before setting out to commit a crime, that person is planning violence and shows deliberate callousness toward innocent life and the police who put their lives on the line.

“In my district recently we had an individual who engaged police in a shootout,” O’Ban said. “The assailant was eventually shot and killed, and upon examination was found to be wearing body armor. That person had planned in advance to commit acts of violence, and under my bill – had he survived – he would have received additional jail time for wearing the body armor.”

Additionally, offenders sentenced under this provision would not be eligible for time off for good behavior or earned-release time during their prison stay for the portion of their sentences resulting from body-armor enhancements. SB 6025 passed 41-7.

Both measures will be considered by the House of Representatives.