CFRW Bail Reform Call to Action
In our September newsletter, we reported on Governor Abbott’s August 7, 2018 announcement requesting that the Texas Legislature enact legislation based upon his proposals for bail reform. The Governor has titled the initiative “The Damon Allen Act” in honor of the Texas law enforcement officer who lost his life to a suspect with prior convictions and additional pending charges but who was released on minimal bail as a result of the court not being aware of the defendant’s history.
To clarify, no bill has yet been drafted for introduction to the Texas Legislature scheduled to convene in January. However, it is not unusual for the drafting to be done well in advance of the Legislative Session. As of date of this article, and after having checked with the Governor’s Office, we know of no action having yet been taken to write the proposed legislation.
The need and opportunity presented by Governor Abbott’s proposal found support at the October meeting of CFRW’s Executive Board where the Board voted to recommend that the CFRW membership endorse Governor Abbott’s bail reform initiative and request that our State Representatives prepare and adopt legislation incorporating the proposals found in The Damon Allen Act as presented by the Governor.
This is a chance for our CFRW membership to be involved at the ground floor with the creation and passage of legislation. We are asking our members to write to their individual Texas State Representatives asking them to prepare and support such a bill. To make this as convenient as possible, postcards and proposed text will be available at CFRW’s November membership meeting so you can write your State Representative during the meeting. The postcards will be collected up and mailed following the meeting. Of course, you can supplement by writing further and engage with multiple members of the Texas House, but we look forward to making a strong, initial effort at our meeting on November 13.
From there, we will monitor the efforts of our Legislators concerning the matter, and if written and introduced as a bill, we will follow its progress throughout the Legislative Session.
Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to working together as a club on this legislative action program in November and forward.
Gail Schubot, CFRW Legislative Chair
October 22, 2018