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Senator Judith Zaffirini: District 21
Press Release
June 24, 2022
Contact: Laura Felix
Committee to Protect All Texans Hears Testimony on School Safety
Zaffirini Emphasizes Meaningful Change for Children, Communities

(AUSTIN)—The Senate Committee to Protect All Texans, of which Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, is a member, heard 19 hours of testimony from experts, leaders and advocates who shared their perspectives about making Texas schools and communities safer.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick appointed the 11-member committee that met in the Senate chamber on Tuesday (June 21) and Wednesday (June 22). He charged them to focus on school safety, mental health, social media, police training and firearm safety.

After the horrific massacre of 19 children and two teachers by a shooter at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Gov. Greg Abbott requested legislative committees be named to make recommendations.

“We have to take action," Senator Zaffirini told the committee. "Thoughts and prayers are wonderful, but they’re not enough. Actions speak louder than words.”

The committee's next steps include analyzing oral and written testimony gathered during these hearings and making recommendations for the Legislature’s consideration. Its next regular session convenes on Jan. 10.

"There is nothing more important than keeping our children, teachers and communities safe," Senator Zaffirini said. "These hearings are critical to ensure transparency, accountability and adequate funding to strengthen school security and expand mental health services."

She joins 12 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus in urging Gov. Abbott to convene the Legislature for a special session to implement solutions before the 2022-23 school year begins in August. The caucus is calling for red flag laws, a mandatory 24-hour "cooling-off" period, universal background checks, raising the minimum age to purchase an assault weapon from 18 to 21 and regulating high-capacity magazines for citizens.

"These measures would improve public safety without compromising the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens," Senator Zaffirini said. "Bipartisan collaboration and compromise would keep all Texans safe."

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SENATOR JUDITH ZAFFIRINI, D-Laredo, is the second-highest ranking member and highest-ranking female and Hispanic member of the Texas Senate. She passed 106 bills through the Republican-dominated Legislature during the 87th Regular Legislative Session and is the highest bill-passer in the history of Texas.