Two bills to reform Texas' sexual assault laws were proposed by members of the Young Texans Legislative Caucus and recently signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott.
On June 19, the governor signed HB 699, written by a bipartisan cohort including caucus member Poncho Nevarez (D-Eagle Pass), The law will require all of the state’s public universities to establish a policy on sexual assault by defining prohibited behavior, assigning sanctions and punishments to violations, and creating an administrative protocol for addressing cases. Its passage follows the University of Texas System's announcement of a $1.7 million review of both the prevalence of and official responses to sexual assaults on its campuses.
One day earlier, Abbott signed HB 189, written by caucus members Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) and Joseph Moody (D-El Paso). This law eliminates the state’s statute of limitations on prosecuting rape and sexual assault for any case in which there’s probable cause that the perpetrator is a serial offender.