In the 2019 session, we spent a great deal of time focusing on fighting human trafficking and sexual assault and taking care of our state’s victims.
I joint-authored and co-authored meaningful legislation, such as House Bill 8, which eliminates the outrageous backlog of untested rape kits, and House Bill 616, which streamlines the procedures for processing and collecting sexual assault evidence.
I also co-authored and voted to pass House Bill 292, which requires the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement to include human trafficking training for peace officers as part of their minimum curriculum requirements.
Some other great bills we passed are House Bill 1590, which establishes the Sexual Assault Survivor’s Task Force, and Senate Bill 71, which creates a statewide telehealth center for sexual assault forensic medical examinations.
Below is a list of all the legislation passed during the 86th Legislative Session regarding sexual assault and human trafficking:
- HB111 – Requires that training for all public school district and open-enrollment charter school employees include prevention techniques for and recognition of sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and other maltreatment of children with significant cognitive disabilities
- HB403 – Includes new sexual assault, human trafficking, and maltreatment assessment training
- HB531 – Prohibits hospitals from destroying medical records from forensic medical examinations of sexual assault victims until 15 years after the records were created
- HB653 – Includes in the list of applications where a person can contribute $1 to the evidence test grant program: corrected/duplicate DL’s, personal ID certificates, and CDL’s
- HB667 – Enhances the penalty for crimes of incestuous sexual assault from a second degree felony to a first degree felony
- HB1545 – Continues the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and reform of the commission’s operations and increases the number of members on the commission
- HB2059 – Requires health care practitioners that aren’t doctors or nurses to complete training on identifying and assisting victims of human trafficking
- HB2298 – Establishing January 28th as Sexual Assault Survivors day
- HB2613 – Creates the criminal offense of operation of a stash house, which is knowingly uses/permits another to use any real estate to facilitate the smuggling of people
- HB2758 – Adds continuous trafficking of persons, promotion of prostitution, and aggravated promotion of prostitution among the offenses that render a defendant adjudged guilty or convicted of such an offense ineligible for judge-ordered or jury-recommended community supervision
- HB3078 – Requires Board of Pardons and Paroles to appoint a panel of experts for people to apply for clemency (legal mercy for a ruling) under if the offense committed was under duress or coercion as a result of being a victim of trafficking
- HB3091 – Creates a Class A misdemeanor offense for a person who discloses or publicizes the location/layout of a family violence shelter center or trafficking shelter center with intent to threaten the safety of any inhabitants
- HB3106 – Requires law enforcement agencies to enter the personal information of suspects of sexual offenses into a statewide database
- HB3800 – Improves the reporting of cases of Human Trafficking
- HB4531 – Establishes protocol by which health care facilities may provide forensic medical exams and treatment to such an individual and by providing for the release of certain info without requiring consent by an applicable guardian
- HCR35 – Recognizes human trafficking as a public health issue
- SB20 – Codifies recommendations from the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force report issued in December 2018.
- SB72 – Establishes the human trafficking prevention coordinating council
- SB586 – Requires TCOLE to ensure that the existing peace officer training on child abuse, family violence, and sexual assault includes the use of best practices and trauma-informed techniques to effectively recognize, document, and investigate these cases.
- SB781 – Requires DFPS to develop a plan to establish a strategy to develop trauma-informed protocols to reduce the number of children who run away from residential treatment centers (RTCs) and comply with federal and state requirements related to normalcy
- SB1219 – Requires transportation hubs to post signage advertising the human trafficking hotline. This includes buses, bus stops, airports, train stations
- SB1259 – Expands the definition of sexual assault
- SB1593 – Require TxDOT to develop and make available to their employees a training course on recognition and prevention of smuggling and trafficking of persons.
- SB1801 – Expands the opportunity for victims of human trafficking to obtain an order of nondisclosure under certain circumstances
- SB1802 – Increases penalties for crimes relating to trafficking and prostitution
For more information, please see the video from the Texas Attorney General’s Office below: