Abbott signs “Monica’s Law”

Governor Greg Abbott signed “Monica’s Law” into Texas law late Tuesday, a bill from State Rep. Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) aimed at preventing domestic violence.

The legislation will create an online database, searchable to the public, which will list protective orders issued by Texas courts as a result of domestic violence after a due-process hearing.

“Monica’s Law will save lives and protect countless Texans from domestic abusers,” Abbott said in a prepared statement. “Nothing is more important than the safety and security of Texans, and we must do everything we can to protect innocent people from violent individuals. I am grateful to Rep. Landgraf for his leadership on this issue, and I am honored to continue the legacy of Monica Deming by signing HB 629 into law.”

Deming is the namesake of the bill, a 32-year-old Odessa mother who was shot and killed in her home by an abusive ex-boyfriend, who had two protective orders issued against him previously for domestic violence which he was able to hide.

“Monica’s Law will save lives and I’m grateful to Governor Abbott for his leadership in signing this anti-domestic violence legislation into law,” Landgraf said in a prepared statement.

Landgraf began crafting “Monica’s Law” after meeting with Deming’s father, Jon Nielsen, a former Odessa police officer, who told Landgraf he and his daughter would have known about her ex-boyfriend’s abusive history had there been an online database available.

The law will take effect Sept. 1, 2019.