These maps and data reports do not constitute a redistricting proposal. Rather, they simply reflect the current status of each district court considering case filings and population, factored into a judicial index. The maps and reports will be the topic of discussion at upcoming meetings of district judges within their Administrative Judicial Regions. The meetings will provide each district judge an opportunity to share with Committee members any relevant information that is not reflected in the report. All information gathered at those meetings, in surveys previously sent out, and during Committee hearings, will be used to determine a proposal by the Committee to the Lieutenant Governor.
You may find it helpful to print out the data report for clarification, but additional copies will be available at the administrative judicial regional meetings. Please contact the Committee office at (512) 463-0395 for additional explanation or comments.
The Committee shall:
- Study the effectiveness of the progressive sanction guidelines for juvenile offenders. Determine whether the guidelines established by H.B. 327, 74th Legislature, are bringing consistency, uniformity, and predictability to juvenile dispositions in an effort to facilitate juvenile justice planning and improve the allocation of resources within the juvenile justice system. The Committee shall make recommendations for improving the effectiveness of juvenile sanctions in protecting public safety and rehabilitating offenders.
- Study the judicial system's revenue structure and make recommendations for improving the collection, dispersal, and accounting of court costs, fees, and fines by state and local entities. This study should include a review of all court costs and fees (except those related to the Crime Victims' Compensation Fund) to ensure that they are necessary and are adequately fulfilling their intended purpose.
- Study and make recommendations for the reapportionment of judicial districts pursuant to Article V, Section 7a, Texas Constitution.
- Study and make recommendations for improving the structure of the state's trial court system, including, but not limited to: improving the quality, cost-effectiveness, and uniformity of the visiting judge program; devising objective criteria to be used by the Legislature to determine when and where additional trial courts should be created; and clarifying jurisdictional conflicts between courts.
- Monitor the implementation of SB 1074, 77th Legislature, relating to the prevention of racial profiling by certain peace officers.
The Committee shall submit copies of its final report as soon as possible, but no later than November 15, 2002. This date will allow the findings of the Committee to be considered when the Legislative Budget Board is developing performance and budget recommendations to the 78th Legislature. Copies of the final report should be sent to the Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of the Senate, Legislative Council, and Legislative Reference Library.
The final report of the Committee should be approved by a majority of the voting members of the Committee and include any recommended statutory changes. Draft legislation containing recommended statutory changes should be attached to the report. Recommended agency rule changes should also be attached to the report.
Final Report (PDF - 275 kb)
Appendix (PDF - 1.3 mb)
To view and print PDF files, you will need Acrobat Reader, available free of charge from Adobe Systems Incorporated.
Budget and Staff
The Committee shall use its existing staff and utilize the budget approved by the Senate Committee on Administration. Where appropriate, the Committee should obtain assistance from the Senate Research Center and legislative agencies, including the Legislative Budget Board, the Legislative Council, and the State Auditor. The Committee should also seek the assistance of appropriate Executive Branch agencies with responsibilities in the areas related to the Committee's interim charges.
Pursuant to Section 301.041, Government Code, it may be necessary to change the membership of a committee if a member is not returning to the Legislature in 2003. This will ensure that the work of interim committees is carried forward into the 78th Legislative Session.
76th Legislature's Senate Jurisprudence Committee.