ACT BY TUESDAY, APRIL 6
Being able to get released from jail after an arrest by paying a cash bond is great for those who have the money to do so, but those who cannot afford it could spend weeks or even years in jail waiting for their case to be heard. This puts their livelihood and social support systems in jeopardy. This is a system that is patently unfair, privileging the wealthy and violating the constitutional presumption of innocence. It also contributes to jail overcrowding. The cash bond system needs to be reformed!
House Bill 2077, a bail reform bill, would institute a needs assessment for bail determination and require its use statewide. While not perfect, this bill is a step in the right direction. It is supported by AFANJS, the Alliance for a New Justice System (https://www.texansforjustice.com/), a statewide collective of community leaders, elected officials, organizations, advocates, and citizens devoted to transforming the criminal justice system through meaningful reform and progressive legislation.
By contrast, House Bill 20, a Republican sponsored bill, instead of focusing on dangerous or violent offenders, would require cash bail for non-violent offenders and many peaceful protesters. That’s a non-starter!
Every Texan should support HB 2077 and oppose HB 20.
HB 2077 and HB 20 are going to be heard on Tuesday, April 6, 2021, at 1 PM, in the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee, Room E2.012.
Testify in Person
If you can be in Austin on April 6, sign up to testify in person “FOR” HB 2077. You can register HERE or at the Capitol.
There will be a meeting at the South Lawn Gate of the Capitol at 11 AM. The meeting is to gather collectively, address any questions or concerns, and walk through COVID testing (if you have proof of full vaccination, you don’t need a test). Then all will move together to the hearing room.
Testimony will be heard in Criminal Jurisprudence, E2.012 (Room) starting at 1 PM and until the hearing adjourns.
Submit a Public Comment
You can submit a comment HERE until the hearing adjourns. Fill in your contact information, then select a bill to comment on. See below for what you can say/write.
- HB 2077 by Reynolds (SUPPORT)
- HB 20 by Murr (OPPOSE)
Contact Committee Members
Call or send an email to the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee members (contact info below) in support of HB 2077 and against HB 20.
You can say…
My name is ____ and I live in _______. My zip code is ______. I support House Bill 2077, which will institute a risk assessment and a needs assessment in the bail system across the entire state of Texas. This is one step towards true bail reform in our state.
Also, I oppose House Bill 20, which, instead of focusing on dangerous or violent offenders, requires cash bail for non-violent offenders and many peaceful protesters. It would disproportionately harm poor and low-wealth people of color.
Please pass HB 2077 out of committee and stop HB 20. Thank you.
House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
- Chair: Nicole Collier, 512-463-0716, Nicole.Collier@house.texas.gov
- Vice Chair: Keith Bell, 512-463-0458, Keith.Bell@house.texas.gov
- Member: Jeff Cason, 512-463-0522, Jeff.Cason@house.texas.gov
- Member: David Cook, 512-463-0374, David.Cook@house.texas.gov
- Member: Jasmine Crockett, 512-463-0586, https://house.texas.gov/members/member-page/?district=100 (web form)
- Member: Gina Hinojosa, 512-463-0668, Gina.Hinojosa@house.texas.gov
- Member: Ann Johnson, 512-463-0389, Ann.Johnson@house.texas.gov
- Member: Andrew S. Murr, 512-463-0536, Andrew.Murr@house.texas.gov
- Member: Cody Vasut, 512-463-0564, https://house.texas.gov/members/member-page/?district=25 (web form)