Botham Jean

Unable to Get a Hearing, Future of ‘Bo's Law' Uncertain in the Texas Senate

There has not been a hearing scheduled on the legislation on the Senate side after it passed the House

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The future of a bill known as 'Bo’s law' could be in jeopardy this legislative session.

The bill is named for Botham Jean, who was killed in his own home by an off-duty police officer.

The bill was a priority for Rep. Carl Sherman (D-DeSoto,) who authored it in the Texas House.

The bill, which changed from its original version in the course of its House passage, requires law enforcement to keep their cameras on throughout an investigation, in most cases. It was heard just hours before the critical deadline to hear House bills on the floor.

Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) has authored the Senate version. It's important to note that a bill must be approved by both the House and the Senate before heading to the desk of Gov. Greg Abbott to be signed into law.

“I am carrying the bill, but have not been able to get a hearing on the bill,” said West.

So far, it hasn't been heard by the Senate Jurisprudence Committee. We reached out to both the committee, and the chair of the committee, Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston,).

She did not comment specifically on Bo's Law, but did release a statement saying, "The Senate continues to work to pass legislation that implements good public policy, has the votes to pass the Senate, and has the support of leadership. The Senate Committee on Jurisprudence met this morning and will reconvene after session to hear and pass many House bills. The fact is - we are working hard to pass good legislation for our state, and that includes House bills. While Sine Die seems very close, we have almost a week to continue to pass House bills, and I can assure you that we will."

“Yes I am frustrated, but as a lawyer, I am going to keep on trying, and trying, and trying until the last minute to get the bill heard, and passed,” added West.

The bill must get out of committee and onto the Senate floor by next Wednesday to go up for a vote or it's likely too late. The gavel comes down on this legislature on May 31. 

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