As Grits notes, this is the time of the session in which bills die because there’s no longer the time for them to make it through the process. Fortunately, as he writes in that post, many of the bills related to innocence and exoneration are in a position to be debated and voted by both chambers before the close of business on the session. Hopefully, they will have a clear path to the finish line.
Meanwhile, remember Tehena, the town where the cops steal your stuff as a matter of budget policy? SB1529, by Whitmire, is getting set to put an end to that sleazy practice. Grits has the details on that one as well.
Vince reports that HB3148, which would allow judges to exempt teens and young adults who engage in consensual sex from being required to register as sex offenders, passed out of the House on Wednesday. Unfortunately, it looks like HB3564, the “Romeo and Juliet Fair Defense Act”, which would extend the defense of “indecency with a child” for age-appropriate dating by straight kids to gay and lesbian teenagers, is not going to make it out of committee. That would be a shame.
Finally, it’s not strictly speaking a criminal justice bill, but since I linked to Equality Texas in the preceeding paragraph, I thought I’d mention that HB1323, the anti-bullying bill, will be on the House calendar Monday. You can learn more about that bill, which Equality Texas helped to draft, here. You can help by contacting your Rep and asking him or her to vote for this bill when it comes to the floor. Thanks very much.