Austin, TX – Right On Crime, a national campaign of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, applauds the passage of six important criminal justice reform bills by the Texas House of Representatives. HB 3659, HB 213, HB 1737, HB 410, HB 1736, and HB 504 represent a significant step forward in making Texas’ criminal justice system more just, efficient, and effective.
These bills represent recommendations from Right On Crime’s Legislative Action Agenda for the 88th Texas Legislature, and they address a wide range of issues from raising the burden of proof to protect innocent property owners to expanding opportunities for people with criminal records to find employment.
“We are thrilled to see the Texas House take such significant steps towards making our criminal justice system more just and effective,” said Nikki Pressley, Texas Director of Right On Crime. “These six bills reflect the hard work and dedication of lawmakers who understand the opportunity to make meaningful change in the lives and communities of all Texans. I am hopeful that the Texas Senate will thoughtfully consider this legislation.”
Brett Tolman, Executive Director of Right On Crime and former U.S. Attorney said, “States across the nation are watching Texas, as we move away from policies that have proven to be inefficient toward smarter, more evidence-based approaches that prioritize public safety, fiscal responsibility, and second chances.”
HB 3659 will raise the burden of proof the state must meet before forfeiting property and will establish a value floor to prioritize forfeiture actions against high-value contraband.
HB 213 would lower the time to parole eligibility for juvenile offenders to save taxpayer dollars and provide a meaningful opportunity to re-enter society, while also continuing to protect public safety.
HB 1737 will automate the record-sealing process, removing barriers to obtaining a sealed record for people who are already eligible under existing law.
HB 410 will prohibit arrests for non-jailable, Class C misdemeanor, traffic offenses.
HB 1736 will prohibit an individual from being sentenced to death if convicted through the “law of parties” or the “conspirator party rule”.
HB 504 will improve No-Knock Warrant procedures to protect law enforcement and the community.
With the passage of these bills in the Texas House, the focus now shifts to the Texas Senate, where lawmakers will have the opportunity to build on this momentum and further strengthen our criminal justice system.