MIDLAND, Texas — One year ago, 19-year-old Veronica Sanchez was killed by her coworker.
Now, her family is working to make sure no other parent has to lose a child in the same manner.
Today, the Texas Senate passed House Bill 915, otherwise known as "Veronica's Hotline," a bill that would bring an anonymous workplace violence hotline to Texas businesses.
"You just basically say, 'hey you know, this employee came in and said XYZ today, and I don't know if they're for real or not, but I feel very uncomfortable working with them,'" said Jennifer Sanchez, Veronica's mother. "They alert the proper authorities and they take it from there.”
The Sanchez family met with State Representative Tom Craddick (R-Midland) in October to discuss the bill. Craddick would file the bill for proper discussion in December.
It was an emotional day for the Sanchez family, who were watching on their computer as the Texas Senate passed the bill without hesitation.
“Us as her parents, of course we want to help prevent this from ever happening to anyone else," said Sanchez. "But it was an emotional moment because we know Veronica is looking down on us and smiling. [We have] happy tears so to speak, but it’s a bittersweet moment because it’s not gonna bring our child back.”
The Sanchez family worked closely with Craddick and other representatives to pass the bill. When NewsWest 9 reached out to Craddick for comment, he sent the following statement:
“Having worked alongside the Sanchez family, who worked tirelessly advocating for this legislation, has been a true privilege. without the family, none of this would be possible. I would also like to thank my colleagues in the Texas Legislature who aided in addressing this issue that we pray no one ever has to experience. With the implementation of veronica’s hotline, Texans will be able to do what they love and be given piece of mind to everyone knowing there are alternative options for workplace violence reporting's.”
While Veronica may be gone, her family strives to make sure her memory will always live on.
“I look at her life, not the nightmare that we live in," said Sacnhez. "I look at her life and what she gave back to her friends, her family, everyone she loved and cared about, which was love. That’s what Veronica was about, it was love. Making you laugh, making sure that you knew that she loved you, that you were appreciated. That’s what I hold on to.”
Meanwhile, this bill now goes to the desk of Governor Greg Abbott to sign. Another bill, nicknamed "Veronica's Law," is currently on hold, but Sanchez plans to revisit the bill.