Monday marked the first day Texas lawmakers were in session and could vote on non-emergency items. The Senate marked the occasion by voting on five bills related to supporting law enforcement officers.
Law enforcement officers from across the state sat in the gallery to watch the proceedings. Here are the bills that were passed:
- Senate Bill 798 by Senator Don Huffines (R-Dallas) declares July 7 "Fallen Law Enforcement Officer Day" in Texas. The date marks the day Dallas police officers were ambushed while securing a peaceful march
- Senate Bill 1138 by Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston) creates a "Blue Alert" System. Similar to an Amber or Silver Alert, this will send out notifications when someone who has injured an officer is on the loose
- Senate Joint Resolution 1 by Senator Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) and Senate Bill 15, also by Huffines, provide a property tax exemption for the spouse of an officer killed in the line of duty
- Senate Bill 12 by Senator Royce West (D-Dallas) established a $25 million grant program to buy bullet-proof vests that can take rifle rounds and ballistic plates for all Texas officers. West dedicated the bill to the 18 Texas officers who were killed while on duty in 2016
All of the bills passed unanimously and on all three readings, sending them to the House.
Here's a statement from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick regarding the bills: