Bill Text: TX HB1531 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Comm Sub


Bill Title: Relating to a specialty court program for sexual assault victim services.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-04-17 - Committee report sent to Calendars [HB1531 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB1531-Comm_Sub.html
  86R23030 YDB-D
 
  By: Neave H.B. No. 1531
 
  Substitute the following for H.B. No. 1531:
 
  By:  White C.S.H.B. No. 1531
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
 
 
  relating to a specialty court program for sexual assault victim
  services.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Title 2, Government Code, is amended by adding
  Subtitle K-1 to read as follows:
  SUBTITLE K-1.  SPECIALTY COURTS FOR VICTIMS
  CHAPTER 141. SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIM SERVICES COURT PROGRAM
         Sec. 141.001.  SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIM SERVICES COURT PROGRAM
  DEFINED. In this chapter, "sexual assault victim services court
  program" means a program that has the following essential
  characteristics:
               (1)  the integration of services provided by public
  agencies and community organizations for victims in sexual assault
  cases;
               (2)  the use of prosecutors with experience in
  prosecuting sexual assault cases and judges with experience in
  hearing sexual assault cases;
               (3)  early identification and prompt assignment of
  eligible cases to the court designated under Section 141.002(b);
               (4)  access by victims to counseling and other related
  services provided by public agencies and community organizations;
               (5)  development of partnerships with public agencies
  and community organizations;
               (6)  monitoring and evaluation of program goals and
  effectiveness;
               (7)  continuing interdisciplinary education to promote
  effective program planning, implementation, and operations;
               (8)  inclusion of a participant's family members who
  agree to be involved in the services provided to the participant
  under the program;
               (9)  prosecution of sexual assault offenses;
               (10)  issuance of orders of protection to victims on
  the victim's consent and as authorized by state law; and
               (11)  continued monitoring of sexual assault
  defendants through prosecution and adjudication and for the
  duration of an offender's sentence.
         Sec. 141.002.  AUTHORITY TO ESTABLISH PROGRAM; ELIGIBILITY.
  (a) The commissioners court of a county may establish a sexual
  assault victim services court program for participants who are
  victims of an alleged sexual assault in which a person is arrested
  for or charged with an offense under Chapter 21 or 22, Penal Code.
         (b)  The local administrative judge, for the courts for which
  the judge serves as local administrative judge, may designate a
  court in the county for assignment of cases described by Subsection
  (a). The judge of the court must have experience hearing sexual
  assault cases under Chapter 21 or 22, Penal Code.  The prosecuting
  attorney for the court must have experience in prosecuting sexual
  assault offenses under Chapter 21 or 22, Penal Code.
         Sec. 141.003.  DUTIES OF SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIM SERVICES
  COURT PROGRAM. (a) A sexual assault victim services court program
  established under this chapter must:
               (1)  ensure that a victim eligible for participation in
  the program volunteers to proceed through the program; and
               (2)  allow a participant to withdraw from the program
  at any time.
         (b)  A sexual assault victim services court program
  established under this chapter shall make, establish, and publish
  local procedures to ensure maximum participation of eligible
  victims in the county.
         Sec. 141.004.  GIFTS, GRANTS, AND DONATIONS.  A county may
  accept a gift, grant, donation, or bequest of money, services,
  equipment, goods, or other tangible or intangible property from any
  source for the sexual assault victim services court program.
         SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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