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‘Sam would be proud’: anti-hazing 'Sam's Law' passes unanimously

The parents of a Washington State University student who died in 2019 were on hand for the emotional Senate vote on Thursday.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A bill to require hazing education and documentation of incidents for all college clubs and organizations in the state passed unanimously off the Senate floor Thursday morning.

House Bill 1751 now returns to the House where it passed in February.

Bill sponsor Rep. Mari Leavitt, D-Pierce County, expects the bill to be sent to Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk next week.

If enacted, it would be named “Sam’s Law” after Sam Martinez, a Bellevue 19-year-old who died following a fraternity party at Washington State University in November of 2019.

RELATED: ‘Sam’s Law,’ named after WSU student, would strengthen penalties for hazing-related deaths

While his cause of death was alcohol poisoning, police determined he drank too much because of a hazing ritual.

"Sam was such a loyal guy to his friends and looked out for the underdog, so the idea that his legacy can be about protecting other people is just perfect. It feels exactly right to us,” said Martinez’s mother, Jolayne Houtz.

She and his father, Hector Martinez, came to the Senate gallery to watch the vote.

They both cried while hearing every senator vote in favor of their son’s bill.

”At that moment, it’s like, this is your moment, your justice is coming,” said Martinez.

Houtz and Martinez gave emotional testimonies in front of state lawmakers in January regarding the bill. 

"My goal today is simple and urgent: to try to save a life for the one that was taken from us two years ago,” said Houtz in January.

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