Texas State Representative Senfronia Thompson Gives Her "Little Dog" Report From The State Capitol

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Good Gals and Guys Win One for a Change!

Yesterday was small win for the little dogs. House Bill 855, by Representative Diane White Delisi, would allow prosecution for failing to identify oneself. This bill was quite simply a tool to provide the police of this state a means of harassment. I am not saying that we want to live in a state where there are no laws to protect us, and I am certainly not saying that we should deprive our police force of the tools they need to do their job. But, I am saying that it is imperative we provide our police force with the necessary and correct tools so that they may keep law and order.

There is NO DOUBT in my mind that the experiences that Representative Delisi's constituents have are contrary to the experiences of my constituents. My constituents are going to be harassed. Why? Because of their socio-economic status, the communities with which they live, and most obviously their ethnicity. I have seen all of this within my lifetime and want very much to make sure that my children, and my children's children, don't have to see what I have seen.

Representative Delisi never provided the members of the House with any statistics to validate her reason for bringing forth this particular piece of legislation. This bill took the Terry stop beyond what it was designed to do and is evidently unnecessary. We have a hard enough time trying to find enough policemen and policewomen in this state to take care of the SERIOUS crimes like domestic abuse, sexual assault, rape, robbery, and murder. Why are we wasting their time and our time with this?

It is evident by the final vote turnaround that many of the members of the House realized this very point. 23 YEAS - 116 NAYS

Thank you to all the members who stood up and helped educate some of the other members on the difference between our districts and theirs.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

HB 3373

Human trafficking is a grievous and widespread problem in our nation and state. The first of my six bills, House Bill 3373, concerning this heinous issue was heard yesterday in the Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures. H.B. 3373 simply requires certain establishments with alcoholic beverage permits to post notices regarding the offense of human trafficking. These notices include a phone number to the national human trafficking hotline. This is just one step in the right direction. For the victims of and witnesses to human trafficking these signs serve as informative opportunities that will provide for a better way to help our law enforcement officials find and prosecute traffickers.

The bill was well received by the committee and voted out of the Committee on Licensing and Administration unanimously and sent to the Local and Consent Calendar. I anticipate that it will pass out of the House with ease. I am pushing for a hearing on my remaining Human trafficking bills, which have been sent to the Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence.