The tragic death of Ed Thomas inspired a change to Iowa law that might have saved the beloved coach had it been in place in June 2009. Covenant Hospital was not obligated to notify law enforcement when Mark Becker's 48-hour psychiatric hold had elapsed. In Becker's case, he was released to his case worker and not police, who were still waiting to charge him with the attack at Dwight Rogers' home. The next day, Becker killed Ed Thomas.
The so-called Ed Thomas Bill was signed into law on March 24, 2010 the same month Mark Becker was convicted of murder. Upon signing the bill into law, Governor Chet Culver declared it a statute "that's going to save lives and prevent tragedy and get people the help they need before they commit such a horrific offense in the future."