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Crime Victim Services Division Legislative Update

A summary of victim-related legislation that affects the Crime Victim Services Division and Crime Victims' Compensation Program:

HB 1372 – Relating to the definition of victim in relation to certain crime victims’ rights.

  • Amends 56.01(3), Texas Code of Criminal Procedure
  • Adds the “trafficking of persons” to the definition of victim
  • Affords victim rights to victims of human trafficking

Effective Date: June 19, 2009


HB 2626 - Relating to the forensic medical examination of a sexual assault victim who has not reported the assault to a law enforcement agency.

  • Amends Chapter 56, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure and Chapter 323, Texas Health and Safety Code
  • Allows an adult victim of sexual assault the right to a forensic medical examination without having to report to law enforcement.
  • Victim must request the exam within 96 hours of the assault
  • The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is required to pay the appropriate fees for the forensic portion of the medical exam and store the evidence for at least two years
  • The OAG will reimburse DPS for forensic exam and allowable fees

Effective Date: June 19, 2009


HB 2916 – Relating to allowing certain claimants to file an application under the Crime Victims’ Compensation Act.

  • Amends Article 56.37 and Article 56.61, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure
  • Allows a claimant to file for benefits on behalf of a pre-1980 homicide victim whose remains were identified on or after January 1, 2009
  • Application for benefits must be filed within three years from the date the identity of the victim is established

Effective Date: June 19, 2009


HB 4009 – Relating to the provision of services to certain persons involved in, and the prosecution, punishment, and prevention of offenses involving trafficking of persons or certain forced sex-based labor or services.

  • Requires the OAG to create a human trafficking prevention task force
  • Requires the task force to collaborate with federal agencies; collect and publish statistics on human trafficking; and work with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Education on training issues
  • The task force will make recommendations to the 82nd Legislature

Effective Date: September 1, 2009


SB 808 – Relating to allowing certain claimants to file an application under the Crime Victims’ Compensation Act.

  • Amends Article 56.37 and Article 56.61, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure
  • Allows a claimant to file for benefits on behalf of a pre-1980 homicide victim whose remains were identified on or after September 1, 2009
  • Application for benefits must be filed within three years from the date the identity of the victim is established

Effective Date: September 1, 2009


SB 1616 – Relating to the fees for and issuance of certain license plates.

  • Amends Subchapter G, Chapter 504, Texas Transportation Code, by adding Section 504.660
  • Requires Texas Department of Transportation to design and issue specialty license plates to support victims of sexual assault
  • The license plates must include the words “Speak up. Speak out.” and an image of a blue ribbon
  • Revenue from the sale of license plates will be deposited in the sexual assault program fund

Effective Date: September 1, 2009


SB 1377 – Relating to the administration of the compensation to victims of crime fund and the compensation to victims of crime auxiliary fund.

  • This bill implements recommendations from the Legislative Budget Board’s 2009 Government Effectiveness and Efficiency Report entitled “Strengthen the Solvency of the Compensation to Victims of Crime Fund”
  • Amends Article 56.54 and Article 56.541, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure
  • Authorizes a periodic transfer of 50 percent of the balance exceeding $5 million in the Compensation to Victims of Crime Auxiliary Fund to the Compensation to Victims of Crime Fund
  • Modifies the formula the attorney general uses in certifying the amount of excess money in the Compensation to Victims of Crime Fund that is available for appropriation to the OAG or state agencies that deliver or fund victim-related services or assistance

Effective Date: September 1, 2009


SB 1774 – Relating to the disposal of certain exhibits used in criminal proceedings in certain counties.

  • Amends Article 2.21, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure
  • Allows a county or district court clerk to deliver an eligible exhibit to the county purchasing agent for disposal as surplus or salvage property
  • Upon sale of the exhibit, the commissioner’s court is required to remit 50 percent of the proceeds to the county treasury and 50 percent of the proceeds to the credit of the Compensation to Victims of Crime Fund

Effective Date: September 1, 2009


SB 1844 – Relating to revenue received from the provision of pay telephone service to inmates confined in facilities operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

  • SB 1580, 80th Legislature, amended the Government Code to provide for a transfer of half of all proceeds derived from pay telephone service for inmates to the Compensation to Victims of Crime Fund (Fund) and the other half to the General Revenue Fund; except the first $10 million collected each year would be distributed to the Fund
  • SB 1844 dedicates the revenue received from inmate phone calls to the Fund.

Effective Date: June 19, 2009

In this issue:

Welcome Letter
2009 Crime Victim Services Division Conference
Milestone $1 Billion Reached by Texas Compensation to Victims of Crime Fund
Funding Forensic Medical Exams for Sexual Assault Victims
Crime Victim Services Division Legislative Update
Children’s Exposure to Violence
The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
Law Enforcement Response to People with Mental Illnesses
Ethics in Victim Services
Strengthening Sexual Assault Victims' Right to Privacy
Emergency Service Training for Volunteers
School Safety Data
Send CVS Your Most Meaningful Remembrance
National Crime Victim Rights Week 2010
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