P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2003
AUSTIN -- State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, continued her efforts to toughen state laws against domestic abuse by filing Senate Bill 176 which subject domestic offenders to prosecution for interfering with emergency communications.
"An emergency call can be the difference between life and death in a violent home. That phone is a lifeline, and I believe the act of cutting that lifeline should be considered criminal in the eyes of the law," Senator Nelson said. "It is so difficult to make domestic violence cases stick. This legislation gives our law enforcement and prosecutors another avenue with which to go after these domestic bullies, many of whom have learned how to work the system and escape penalties."
SB 176 makes individuals who interfere with emergency calls subject to a Class A Misdemeanor which carries a penalty of up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000. Senator Nelson has been a strong advocate in the fight against domestic abuse and has been honored for her legislative efforts in both of the last two legislative sessions by the Texas Council on Family Violence and local organizations such as Friends of the Family.
The Legislature will reconvene for its 78th regular session on Tuesday. The deadline for filing bills is March 14 with the legislative session ending on June 2nd. Each bill must receive approval by a Senate Committee, the full Senate, a House Committee, and the full House before being sent to the Governor's Office for his signature.