While it pales in comparison to previous sessions, the 84th Texas Legislature proved that our state government still likes to entertain some dysfunction.
Tag Archives: John Whitmire
Truancy reform legislation, which would decriminalize Texas’ punitive system for handling students who miss school, has made it to the governor’s desk.
The Senate approved open carry of handguns Friday night, with a controversial provision that would prevent police stops solely to ask for a license. Critics say the bill now amounts to unlicensed open carry.
After a long stand-off between the House and Senate, a last-minute compromise may save the prospects of truancy reform, which has gained broad bipartisan support.
Texas has come a long way in juvenile justice reform. But this year, the question of whether to raise the age of “criminal responsibility” has split some lawmakers in the Senate.
Much to state Sen. Van Taylor’s dismay, his ethics bill that passed the Texas Senate on Tuesday is a shell of its former self after being heavily amended.
Under his legislation, Whitmire said school administrators and judges would have all the same tools they have now to try to ensure kids are not skipping school. The difference, he argued, is there would be no criminal charge to follow a young person around for the rest of their life.
Advocates, House members and some county officials support shifting 17-year-olds to the juvenile justice system, but the plan’s path through the Senate is unclear.
A coalition of advocates, judges and sheriffs have called for treating 17-year-olds as juveniles in the criminal justice system, but a key senator remains skeptical.
After eight years of reforms, a new study shows Texas’ juvenile justice system has steered more kids out of the system by keeping them close to home.