Legislation introduced a year ago by two Hawaii lawmakers is now law.

“Talia’s Law,” as it is called, seeks to at better protect children from abuse on military bases.

It’s named after Talia Williams, a 5-year-old who was beaten to death in 2005 by her father, then an active-duty infantryman stationed in Hawaii.

The bill was introduced by U.S. Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and the late Mark Takai, both Democrats.

Gabbard’s office said Monday that the bill was signed by President Barack Obama on Dec. 23.

US Capitol building senate reflecting pool. 12 june 2016
The U.S. Capitol Building. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Gabbard said in a press release:

“More than a decade after Talia Williams’s tragic death, there have been more than 29,000 cases of child abuse and neglect in military homes. Until now, the same gaps in the military’s reporting requirements that failed to protect Talia and so many other military children remained.

“Enactment of Talia’s Law closes these gaps by requiring the same protections that exist for any other child to also protect children in military families. While this cannot right the wrongs that failed to protect Talia, Talia’s Law honors her life by helping to get military children, and their families, the support and care they need and deserve.”

In February, the House of Representatives unanimously passed Talia’s Law.

Gabbard and Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono later worked to include Talia’s Law in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, according to Gabbard’s office.

Gabbard actually voted against the NDAA on Dec. 2, complaining that the bill “contains the same deeply concerning and dangerous Syria train and equip measures that I’ve fought against since the program’s inception.”

Still, Gabbard liked other parts of the bill including the Talia’s Law language and a provision strengthening missile defense capabilities in Hawaii against “the threat posed by North Korea.”

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa voted in favor of the NDAA, as did Hirono and Sen. Brian Schatz.

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