News Release from the office of Senator Carlos Uresti

March 25, 2009
CONTACT: Mark Langford at 512.463.0119

Senate committee passes protective order bill

A bill sponsored by Sen. Carlos Uresti to toughen state laws on protective orders cleared its first legislative hurdle Tuesday.

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee approved SB843 on a vote of 5-0 and certified it for inclusion on the Local and Consent Calendar, greatly enhancing Senate passage.

"The committee's quick action shows that my Senate colleagues recognize the need to fill a gap in state law that made some people ineligible for protective orders," Uresti said. "Under this bill, anyone endangered by a broken or dysfunctional relationship will receive the full protection of the law."

The legislation, spurred by the Feb. 10 slaying of Kristy Appleby, will allow protective orders to be obtained by people who are not involved in an intimate relationship. Appleby, 32, had sought a protective order against the woman now charged in her death after a prior attack, but it was denied.

Earlier Tuesday, the Senate unanimously adopted a memorial resolution for Kristy and adjourned in her honor. Several family members later testified before the committee in support of the bill, which Uresti said will close a loophole in the law that left some potential victims vulnerable.

"Though Kristy is no longer with us, we still owe her a large measure of responsibility," Uresti said. "Though she cannot benefit from this change in the law, many others will."

Carlos Uresti is the senator from State Senate District 19 representing over 750,000 residents throughout a 23 county area stretching along the U.S.-Mexico border, from San Antonio to El Paso County, including all or part of the following: Bandera, Bexar, Brewster, Culberson, Crockett, El Paso, Edwards, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Kinney, Loving, Maverick, Medina, Pecos, Presidio, Real, Reeves, Sutton, Terrell, Uvalde, Val Verde, Ward, and Winkler counties. Covering 55,000 square miles, the district contains 62 school districts and spans two time zones.