Bill Introduced To Increase Tenant Safety In Virginia Named After Murdered Caribbean American Teen

Bill Introduced To Increase Tenant Safety In Virginia Named After Murdered Caribbean American Teen

A Virginia state representative has named a bill introduced to improve tenant safety in apartment buildings in Virginia, after Caribbean American teen Miya Marcano, who was murdered last year in Florida.

Delegate Candi Mundon King has filed HB 160 to create ‘Miya’s Law,’ named after Caribbean American Miya Marcano who was killed by a maintenance worker at the Arden Villas apartment complex in Orlando, Fl where she lived, worked and likely died.

“When I learned of Miya Marcano’s story, like many across our country and across the world, my family and I prayed for Miya’s safe return. As a mom, aunt, sister, friend, the story of Miya’s tragic end touched me deeply, and that’s why I have introduced this bill here in Virginia because no person should feel unsafe in their home” said King in a statement. “More could have been done to protect Miya and I stand in support of her family to ensure other young women and apartment tenants receive the protection they deserve from potentially violent individuals.”

‘Miya’s Law’ requires a landlord to conduct background screening for all apartment employees. The background screening must include a national screening of criminal history records and sexual predator and sexual offender registries. The screening would specifically include criminal offenses involving violent crimes. The bill also requires landlords to establish written policies and procedures for the storage and management of master keys and other electronic keys to ensure former employees or unauthorized users can no longer access them.

Delegate Mundon King said she’s had several meetings with apartment organizations, Democrat and Republican colleagues, and other stakeholders in an effort to gain broad support for the bill. “It’s important to me that the work is done to help relevant decision-makers understand the importance of Miya’s Law and the role they can play in keeping our communities safe. As lawmakers, we can pass legislation, but buy-in from businesses and management associations is crucial to ensuring what happened to Miya, doesn’t happen to others,” King said.

“It hasn’t been easy, but I know that Miya’s Law is needed and I will continue to have conversations to ensure this bill passes successfully with broad support. The strength of Miya’s family to mobilize in the way they did was inspiring to me, but no family should ever have to do that. My hope is that by picking up the baton here in Virginia to pass Miya’s Law, my colleagues in statehouses throughout the United States will be challenged to do the same as we all work to protect our constituents.”

“My daughter’s legacy continues as she is fighting with us to protect others. This is something she did in life and although our hearts will forever be shattered, we know that protecting and fighting for others is something that Miya would want us to do,” commented Miya’s mother, Yma Scarbriel, who is also a Board Member of the Miya Marcano Foundation.

“We are extremely thankful for the support surrounding Miya’s Law,” said Miya’s father, says Marlon Marcano, who is also a Board Member of the Miya Marcano Foundation. “My daughter’s untimely death is one that I still can’t accept fully, however, knowing that her death will be the catalyst to protect so many, brings me some comfort. Thank you to everyone, especially Delegate Candi Mundon King for bringing Miya’s Law forward in the House of Representatives within the State of VA.”

Delegate Mundon King introduced the bill last week and it has been referred to the General Laws Committee. If the bill passes the General Laws Committee, it will head to the full House of Delegates for a vote.