From the Office of State Senator Royce West - District 23

For Immediate Release
CONTACT: David Quin or Kelvin Bass
(512) 463-0123 / (214) 467-0123
November 12, 2002

Senator West pre-files bills for upcoming 78th Legislative Session

AUSTIN, Texas -- Today, the first day permissible under state law, State Senator Royce West (D-Dallas) announces the filing of five bills in preparation for the 78th Session of the Texas Legislature. November 12 is the first day for pre-filing and Senator West says it is a must to be prepared for what promises to be a most interesting Legislative Session.

"Even though the 78th Legislature does not meet until January 14th, in my mind it has already begun," said Senator West. "Pre-filing these important bills today ensures that they will get the attention they deserve early next session."

While maintaining his vigilance and being on the vanguard on matters involving criminal justice

and public safety, Senator West says this session, consumer and economic issues will command more of his legislative focus. The five bills pre-filed by Senator West address issues on the use of credit scoring by insurers, tenant rights, domestic violence, driving while intoxicated and legislative intent during the rule-making process.

These numbers were assigned to bills pre-filed by Senator West:

* S.B. 91 would prohibit insurance underwriters from using credit history as a factor in approving, renewing, denying, or setting the rates of risk based insurance policies.

* S.B. 92 would prevent a landlord from barring, limiting, or penalizing a tenant's right to call the police or emergency assistance in response to family violence.

* S.B. 93 would allow magistrates to modify a Magistrate's Order of Emergency Protection if it is not working effectively and won't undermine the safety of the victim or other persons.

* S.B. 94 would delay by 24 hours the issuance of a temporary driving permit to someone arrested for drunk driving to minimize the risk of a repeat offense.

* S.B. 95 would require a state agency to inform each author and sponsor of a pending rule change, and review the legislative record to ensure compliance with the author's intent.

"With the election season concluded, it is time to set our minds to the business of providing what is best for the citizens of Texas," said Senator West. "In a biennium of an anticipated and unprecedented budgetary shortfall, there are matters of critical importance, such as addressing the insurance industry, funding public education and assisting the elderly that merit serious deliberation."

Under the Texas Constitution, the State Legislature is called into Session on the second Tuesday of January, every odd-year for 140 days. It is during this period that lawmakers draft and pass bills that regulate state government for the next two years. Senator West anticipates filing other bills prior to the start of the Legislative Session.

For more information, please contact David Quin at (512)463-0123 or Kelvin Bass at (214)467-0123.