Senate OKs bills in response to Dallas police shootings


Highlights

One bill would exempt the property taxes for the spouse of a first responder killed on duty.

Another bill would create a $25 million grant program for better bulletproof vests.

Responding to the shooting deaths of five Dallas police officers last July, the Texas Senate on Monday unanimously approved five pieces of legislation, including efforts to provide better bulletproof vests and give financial help to the families of officers killed on duty.

The final vote was taken on behalf of 18 officers killed on duty in Texas in 2016-17, with each name read aloud by state Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, along with the date they died.

“This is the day we take off our red jerseys and our blue jerseys to come together for law enforcement,” West said as dozens of officers watched from the gallery.

Approved Monday and sent to the House were:

Senate Bill 15, granting a property tax exemption for the spouses of police officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel killed on duty. The exemption lasts until the spouse remarries, and the current value of the exemption would transfer to a new home if the spouse were to move.

Senate Joint Resolution 1, which creates a constitutional amendment allowing for the property tax exemption. Voter approval would be required in November.

Senate Bill 12, creating a $25 million grant program, run by the governor’s office, to help law enforcement agencies purchase better bulletproof vests and related equipment.

Senate Bill 1138, creating a “Blue Alert” system to publicize the description of suspects when a law officer is hurt or killed.

Senate Bill 798, establishing July 7 — the anniversary of the Dallas shootings — as Fallen Law Enforcement Officer Day.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Hays County judge appoints staffer to Commissioners Court
Hays County judge appoints staffer to Commissioners Court

Hays County Judge Bert Cobb has appointed his chief of staff, Lon Shell, to serve on the Hays County Commissioners Court. Shell, who was sworn in on Tuesday, will fill the seat vacated by Precinct 3 Commissioner Will Conley, who announced his resignation last week because Conley plans to run for county judge. Cobb, who is battling leukemia, is not...
NEW INFO: Austin police looking for driver who struck, killed volleyball referee last week  
NEW INFO: Austin police looking for driver who struck, killed volleyball referee last week  

Austin police need the public’s help in finding a driver they say was involved in the hit-and-run that killed longtime college volleyball referee Linda Kay Fletcher last week.  Fletcher, 77, was struck and killed Oct. 10 by a gold Chevrolet Tahoe traveling east at a high speed on the 9300 block of Parkfield Drive, police said.  The...
Nearly 30% of Travis County students overweight, study finds
Nearly 30% of Travis County students overweight, study finds

Nearly 30 percent of Travis County students would be considered overweight or obese, according to an analysis of recent school district data by the city of Austin. Health experts say childhood obesity puts children at risk for a variety of physical challenges, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, menstruation issues and respiratory and orthopedic...
How the felony corruption case against Rep. Dawnna Dukes unraveled
How the felony corruption case against Rep. Dawnna Dukes unraveled

On Sept. 6, as they were preparing for their corruption trial against state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, a group of Travis County prosecutors went to the Capitol to meet with witnesses they believed were on their side, an official with knowledge of the case recounted. The first meeting was with Steve Adrian, the director of the House Business Office who previously...
Community news: Pfall Chili Pfest, Cedar Park drainage meetings ahead

TRAVIS COUNTY SOUTH AUSTIN Traffic signal added near Southpark Meadows The Austin Transportation Department has turned on a new traffic signal at Slaughter and Alice Mae lanes, just west of South First Street, a component of a broader safety improvement project in the area. The department plans to begin the next phase of the project at Slaughter and...
More Stories