As the mercury continues to rise, so does the frequency of interim hearings at your Texas Capitol. Lawmakers have taken note that the clock is ticking, with less than six months to go before the 85th Legislative Session convenes, and are continuing to concentrate their efforts on what will be the hot button issues discussed. Our latest Capitol update dives into two of those items..
Governor Abbott Announces The Police Protection Act
Recently, Governor Abbott announced a major effort that he will encourage the Legislature to move forward with in the upcoming session this January. The Police Protection Act will strengthen the penalties faced by those who commit crimes against law enforcement, extend hate crime protections to officers, and create a campaign to educate Texas youth on the importance of law enforcement in our communities.
“Texas will no longer tolerate disrespect for those who serve,” said Abbott, “and it must be made clear to anyone targeting our law enforcement officials that their actions will be met with severe justice.” Law enforcement organizations across the state stand with Governor Abbott in supporting the Police Protection Act, and I do as well. As your State Representative I will work to see passage of this measure in the Texas House, and we will send a steadfast message to criminals that the State of Texas has the back of the uniformed men and women who work to protect us and our communities.
An Update on Funding for Border Security
Last Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee held a hearing for an update on the effectiveness of recent measures taken to help the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) secure more than 1,200 miles along our southern border with Mexico. As you will recall, the Legislature recently appropriated an additional $800 million towards Operation Secure Texas in order to increase security efforts and fund an additional 250 state troopers along the border.
Colonel Steve McCraw, who leads the Texas DPS, described during the hearing that through partnerships with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Texas Rangers, Texas game wardens and others, they have been able to make significant progress with the assets provided by the Texas Legislature. Agents along the border are now equipped with an up to date communication system, plus more drones, airplanes, helicopters, tactical boats, cameras, and ground sensors to help them protect our state and country from people attempting to come here illegally. In the last twelve months alone, over 82,000 illegal aliens have been apprehended along the border, and nearly $600 million worth of drugs have been seized by DPS.
The mobile office will be back on the road for the month of August, and looks forward to seeing you around our district! As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can help you in any way. My district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762, or you can call my Capitol office at (512) 463-0508.