By State Rep. Brooks Landgraf
As the Texas Legislature enters our last month of the 87th Legislative session, I wanted to take some time to update you on what’s going on down here at the Texas Capitol, and to give you a rundown on where some important pieces of legislation are in the process.
I’m extremely proud to report that House Bill 103, the bill I authored to create the Texas Active Shooter Alert System, has taken another important step in the process to becoming law. “Leilah’s Law” was passed unanimously out of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on Tuesday, May 4th. I filed this particular bill after getting input from you all and after working with the families of victims from the August 31, 2019 Midland-Odessa mass shooting. This Texas Active Shooter Alert System will help to keep Texans safe and prevent other senseless deaths due to a lack of notification of an active shooter in an area (while protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Texans).
Another bill that will greatly increase the safety of Texans has also recently made a big step in the process to be signed into law. The previous legislative session, I passed “Monica’s Law” to create the online Texas Protective Order Registry, to make available information about domestic violence protective orders. This registry has been a huge success, and to further improve the tool, I filed House Bill 2702 to also include protective orders for victims of sexual assault or abuse, indecent assault, stalking, and human trafficking. House Bill 2702 was overwhelmingly passed out of the Texas House by a vote of 145 – 1 on May 5th, and will now be sent to the Senate for their consideration.
Lastly, I’m happy to report that Senate Bill 8, the “Texas Heartbeat Act,” passed out of the House earlier this week. SB 8 seeks to prohibit abortions from being performed after detection of a fetal heartbeat. A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. Current state law permits abortions until 20 weeks of pregnancy. Valuing and protecting human life — before and after birth — is part of who I am. I was raised with these values, they’re central to my faith, and I will die with these values. That is why I am so proud of the work we’ve done with SB 8 to protect and save the lives of the unborn.
While these are all great successes, there is still work to do before the legislative session ends on May 31st. As I continue to fight here at the Texas Capitol, know that I’m working tirelessly to finish strong and get results for Texas and for the Basin. We’re in the home stretch, but the hard work is still going strong.
Some fights will be won and some will be lost, but you can count on me to stand strong for West Texas.
God bless Texas!