P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 1999
AUSTIN -- The Texas Council on Family Violence has presented State Senator Jane Nelson, R Flower Mound, with an outstanding legislator award for her efforts to curb domestic violence through a package of eight bills that will soon become law.
"We greatly appreciate Senator Nelson's dedication to this critical issue," Bree Buchanan, public policy director for the Council, said. "Her legislative package will lead to important changes in the way our criminal justice system approaches such a complex problem in our society."
Senator Nelson's domestic violence package will strengthen penalties for repeat domestic offenders, provide more adequate protection for victims and help fund shelters.
"Domestic violence has reached epidemic proportions in Texas, largely because we have a system that caters to the abuser and places a cruel burden on victims. It's time to put the fear in the abusers for a change and allow victims the protection they need to rebuild their lives," Senator Nelson said.
Following are the Nelson-sponsored bills that will soon become law:
- SB 23 - Extends the duration of a magistrate's emergency protective order from 31 to 61 days, allowing allows victims more time to petition for a permanent protective order.
- SB 24 - Increases the penalty for a second assault on a family member from a Class A misdemeanor to a third-degree felony, which carries jail time. Currently, repeat offenses do not automatically trigger a jail sentence.
- SB 50 - Extends the duration of a protective order. It also changes a cruel law that prevents the extension of a protective order unless there is a new act of violence.
- SB 461 - Allows a judge to order, as a condition of probation, the domestic violence defendant to pay up to $100 to a shelter.
- SB 588 - Allows a judge to suspend a defendant's concealed handgun license in cases of family violence. This measure was amended to House Bill 2124.
- HB 577 - Allows a magistrate to hold a domestic violence suspect up to 48 hours after the offender has posted bond. Retaliation against the victim is most likely in the first 48 hours after the attacker is released.
- HB 865 - Allows victims of domestic violence to change their driver's license number in order to protect their identity from their attacker.
- HB 2187 - Requires that court-ordered anger management courses for offenders meet state guidelines.