WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) on Tuesday released the following statements after President Biden signed into law the Help Find the Missing Act, or “Billy’s Law”, legislation to close loopholes in America’s missing persons systems by streamlining the missing persons reporting process and ensuring that law enforcement databases are more accessible and comprehensive.

The bill was co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), John. Hoeven (R-N.D.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.). U.S. Representative Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.-05) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“When I first met Jan and Bill almost 15 years ago, I was inspired by their determination to fix a missing persons system that had repeatedly failed them during the search for their son Billy. I’m so proud to have worked with Senator Cornyn, Congresswoman Hayes, the Smolinskis, the family of Gabby Petito, and countless others to finally get this bill to the president’s desk. This is a big deal that is going to ensure the thousands of other families with missing loved ones won’t face the same obstacles going forward,” said Murphy.

“For families who have exhausted all possible leads to find their loved one, improving the missing persons reporting process is essential,” said Cornyn.This legislation will ensure local law enforcement can work swiftly and comprehensively to deliver justice to the families and friends of the missing, and I am proud of the bipartisan support that pushed this bill across the finish line.”

Billy's Law was originally introduced in the House of Representatives in 2009 by then-Congressman Chris Murphy. The bill was conceived by Janice and Bill Smolinski of Cheshire, Connecticut, after their 31-year-old son Billy went missing from Waterbury, Connecticut. While working with law enforcement to locate their missing son, the Smolinskis faced countless systemic challenges, most significantly the incomplete and uncoordinated federal databases for missing persons and unidentified remains. Billy's Law was introduced to address those challenges and help ensure that the tens of thousands of American families whose loved ones go missing each year do not experience the same hurdles faced by the Smolinskis.

Full text of the bill is available here.

A section-by-section of the bill is available here.

A one-pager of the bill is available here.