Like most Americans, I am deeply disturbed by the killing of George Floyd. His death stands as a tragic reminder of the need to continue reforming our justice system and ensure every American receives equal treatment under the law.
We have enacted several reforms here in Texas with that goal in mind. As chair of the Senate Finance Committee, I have written budgets that include funding for body cameras, surveillance equipment in our jails and juvenile facilities, education about appropriate use of force for law enforcement, and jail diversion programs to put low-level offenders into treatment rather than incarcerate them. I have supported bills aimed at reducing racial profiling and providing greater transparency in our police departments. If there are additional steps you believe we should consider, I am here to listen.
While I support the right to peacefully protest, I strongly condemn violence and destruction of property, especially the damage inflicted on small businesses and our Capitol building. The looting and rioting must end in order for an honest conversation about criminal justice reform to begin. Given the dangers mass protests pose when it comes to spreading the virus, Texas is deploying more than one thousand DPS officers and hundreds of Texas National Guardsmen to the D-FW area. I am grateful for their service – along with our local police departments who have been working on many fronts to keep Texans safe and rebuild trust with the communities in which they serve.
On the COVID front:`
· As of June 3rd, Texas ranks #1 in America for the most recoveries from the coronavirus.
. On June 1st, Texas had the fewest deaths since March 30th, as well as the fewest Texans testing positive at any point in the past six weeks and had the fewest hospitalizations over the same time period.
· We are entering Phase III of Texas' plan: all businesses currently operating at 25% are allowed to expand their occupancy to 50% with certain exceptions.
· On June 12th, restaurants will be able to expand their occupancy levels to 75%. Learn more at open.texas.gov.
The Return of the Capitol Digest
Last weekend, I spoke to nearly 300 Republican delegates to our Senate District 12 Convention for Denton County, and I am proud to report they are fired up and ready to march to victory in November. I look forward to visiting our delegates in Tarrant County this weekend. To all Texans who want your values, your constitutional rights and your priorities protected, I encourage you to make your voice heard in this election.
Because of how much is at stake, I am now shifting my weekly COVID-update to a more all-encompassing newsletter: Capitol Digest. I plan to discuss my re-election in future versions of this digest. Whether to sign up as a supporter, volunteer, put up a yard sign or donate financially, I will need your support to protect the success we have built together here in Texas. I understand it is a difficult time for everyone, but it is vital that we stand strong together.
I have been thinking a lot lately about that famous quote by the mother of Mr. Rogers. He once recalled that when scary things would come, as a young boy, his mother would say: “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Despite all the chaos, we have seen a lot of this. Police embrace protesters. Citizens cleaning up our communities. Customers returning to support their local businesses. Front line workers keeping the supply chain moving and fighting this virus.
Texas does not lack for helpers. I tip my hat to you all — and look forward to working alongside you to continue building a better, stronger Texas.
Very truly yours,
Senator Jane Nelson
As Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, I have been working throughout this pandemic to ensure that state and local agencies have the necessary resources to protect public health and assist Texans struggling economically. I have also been preparing for the tough budget decisions that lie ahead.Read More
Like most Americans, I am deeply disturbed by the killing of George Floyd. His death stands as a tragic reminder of the need to continue reforming our justice system and ensure every American receives equal treatment under the law.Read More
The Texas Woman’s University Board of Regents authorized a new name for its Institute for Women’s Leadership: The Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership.Read More