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Rep.Phelan, Dade

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Phelan and Moody Introduce Smarter Justice, Safer Texas 
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by: Rep. Phelan, Dade

House Leaders Highlights Bipartisan Efforts to Reform Criminal Justice

AUSTIN, Texas -- Speaker Dade Phelan and Speaker Pro Tem Joe Moody today introduced the first component of Smarter Justice, Safer Texas, the House's bipartisan criminal justice reform package that will restore public trust, protect public safety, and provide second chances to those who deserve them.

"Meaningful criminal justice reform demands bold and innovative ideas, and the time for action is now," said Speaker Phelan. "Smarter Justice, Safer Texas is the culmination of the work by bipartisan members of the Texas House to keep dangerous predators off our street, keep the public safe, and defend the rights of the accused. After years of over-incarceration, we now realize that a compassionate, common sense approach to criminal justice can keep Texans safe, save lives, and save money."

“In 2019, after years of working on these issues, I founded the Criminal Justice Reform Caucus to help improve Texas justice," Said Speaker Pro Tem Moody. "Speaker Phelan immediately joined as one of the founding members. He showed then and he’s showing now that he cares deeply about being smart on crime and about both protecting Texans’ safety and protecting Texans’ rights.”

Among the bills comprising Smarter Justice, Safer Texas are the following:

Keeping Texans Safe
HB 20 by Rep. Andrew Murr - Reforming Texas Bail System
HJR 4 by Rep. Kyle Kacal - Denying Bail for Violent Predators

Restoring Public Trust
HB 8 by Rep. Leo Pacheco - Requiring Electronic HR Records for Law Enforcement Agencies
HB 830 by Rep. Senfronia Thompson - Ending Arrests for Non-Violent Offenses
HB 1938 by Rep. Jacey Jetton - Reducing Costs of Body Camera Data Storage
HB 3712 by Rep. Ed Thompson - Enhanced Training for Law Enforcement

Defending Your Rights
HB 1441 by Rep. Matt Schaefer - Protecting Personal Property from Forfeiture
HB 1002 by Rep. Eddie Lucio III - Stopping Hypnosis Use in Investigations

Getting Justice Right
HB 1340 by Rep. Jeff Leach - Narrowing Use of Death Penalty
HB 252 by Rep. Joe Moody - Establishing Jury Instructions for Capital Felony Cases
HB 1717 by Rep. Senfronia Thompson - Requiring Turnover of Exculpatory Evidence If Discovered Post-Conviction
HB 1293 by Rep. John Smithee - Creating Pathway to Seek New Trials

Smarter Second Chances
HB 686 by Rep. Joe Moody - Reforming Sentencing for Juveniles
HB 385 by Rep. Leo Pacheco - Removing Arbitrary Barriers to Probation
HB 569 by Rep. Scott Sanford - Eliminating Financial Barriers to Re-Entry
HB 859 by Rep. Nicole Collier - Expunging Decriminalized Offenses

The House will introduce additional elements of Smarter Justice, Safer Texas in the immediate future and highlight the efforts of Reps. Terry Canales, Garnet Coleman, Matt Krause, James White, and others.


Contact Info


Capitol Address:
District Address:

Room 2W.13

P.O. Box 2910

Austin, TX 78768

(512) 463-1000

10984 F.M. 1442 Suite B

Orange, Texas 77630

(409) 745-2777