AUSTIN – Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, joined Governor Greg Abbott in Dallas today for the signing of Senator Nelson's SB 71 and HB 8, addressing resources for sexual assault victims, and other legislation to combat human trafficking.
"This legislation, along with the investments we made in the budget, will ensure that sexual assault survivors get the justice they deserve," Senator Nelson, sponsor of HB 1, the appropriations act, and chair the Senate Finance Committee, said. "Our budget also prioritizes human trafficking -- a form of modern-day slavery that has no place in Texas."
SB 71 establishes a Telehealth Program that will give survivors across the state access to expert forensic care from certified sexual assault nurses. HB 8 addresses the backlog of sexual assault kits.
HB 1 adds $54M to hire additional staff and increase capacity at the state's crime labs, and rider 49 by Senator Nelson prioritizes those resources for the testing of sexual assault kits. HB 1 also includes:
To address human trafficking, Senator Nelson authored SB 72 -- which establishes the Human Trafficking Coordinating Council -- to ensure that agencies involved in the fight against human trafficking are coordinating efforts. Related Rider 17.12 in Article IX captures, for the first time, statewide spending on anti-human trafficking efforts and outlines coordination and reporting duties of affected agencies. Her HB 1 provides:
Adding in her legislative package from this session, Senator Nelson has now passed more than 30 pieces of legislation relating to sexual assault and domestic violence. In addition to SB 71, SB 72 and HB 8, this session the Legislature approved the following measures by Senator Nelson:
Senator Jane Nelson represents District 12, including portions of Tarrant and Denton Counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the highest-ranking Republican in the Texas Senate.
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