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Lawmakers running out of time to pass Reagan Tokes bill before session ends

Bryant-Reagan Tokes.jpg
More than a year since the murder of OSU student Reagan Tokes, her family is turning her tragic death into action. (WSYX/WTTE)

The mother of slain Ohio State University student Reagan Tokes worried the bill that bears her daughters name - and which she hopes would save lives - might night be passed by lawmakers who are rushing to get legislation passed before year's end. The bill would change sentencing and would mandate closer scrutiny of parolees wearing GPS monitors.

Lisa Tokes' daughter was abducted after leaving a restaurant where she worked in February of 2017. Brian Golsby drove her to a metropark in Grove City, raped her and murdered her. He is now serving life in prison.

At the time of the murder he had recently been released from prison and was wearing an ankle monitor. The GPS device was not being monitored in real time. Tokes said the passage of time is not easing the pain of losing her daughter.

"We are upon holiday time and everything again," she said. "You just feel that loss every day."

She was cautiously optimistic that lawmakers will pass the bill, but realizes how close the end of this legislative session is. "We are coming down to the wire at the 11th hour on this," she said.

One of the bill's sponsors, Sen. Kevin Bacon (R-Westerville), said he would prefer to see the bill pass now.

"We don't want to have to deal with it in the next General Assembly. It really has to get done now," he said. "At least part, at least as much as we can."

But that caveat, "as much as we can," has Lisa Tokes worried. The Ohio House passed the bill in its entirety. The Senate however split the bill into two parts, the sentencing changes and the GPS mandate. Bacon said he had concerns with financing of the GPS changes. But Tokes said she wants to see the entire bill approved.

"To pass one portion without the other, no, I would not, I would not be happy with that," she said.

Tokes said passage of the entire bill will save lives.

"Not doing this means that another family potentially would feel what my family does on a regular basis," she said.

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