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Today is a very special day for Comanche County Treasurer Barbara Burk, as she attends a ceremonial bill signing for House Bill 1912 in the Governor's Blue Room at the State Capitol.
"I'm just so happy to be a part of this," Burk said. The treasurer began her crusade for improved law on protective orders more than two years ago. "I don't quite know how to put it into words ... it's a great feeling. We've worked so hard for this, it's great to finally see it put into law."
HB1912, written by State Representative T.W. Shannon, places more restrictions on abusers of protective orders, while also fortifying the safety of the victims. Both issues hit close to home for the county treasurer, who used the loss of her daughter to domestic violence as a catalyst to help raise awareness on the subject. The bill was approved by Gov. Fallin on May 3,2013 and signed into law on May 6.
"This (bill) is a start (to helping other women in the same position)," she said. "But all it has really done is get my wheels turning. What else can we do to make it safer? What else needs to be done?"
Among the most notable improvements to protective orders in the state is the cut in wait time from application of the order to the court date to set the protective order from 20 days to 14. A change which Burk said will "provide protection to those whole feel threatened in a more timely manner."
Other notable changes:
"None of this will fix everything, but it is a step in the right direction," Burk said. "I'm just so proud to get to this point."
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