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March 5, 2007 (512) 463-0300

STATE MOVING AHEAD ON YOUTH COMMISSION INVESTIGATION

(AUSTIN) -- Lt. Governor David Dewhurst reported Monday that state auditors have begun the process of analyzing data from the Texas Youth Commission for evidence of efforts to cover up alleged sexual abuse within the agency. Following Friday's finding by the Legislative Audit Committee of gross fiscal mismanagement at the TYC, auditors from the State Auditor's Office went to TYC facilities in Austin, Giddings, and Pyote to obtain e-mail records and other data for analysis. Also today, Governor Rick Perry added legislation related to this issue to the call for emergency legislation, freeing up lawmakers to craft bills to address abuses by the TYC.

Dewhurst said that this process will lead to justice, but that investigators must be thorough. "I think all of us want to solve this yesterday, but our primary concern is the physical safety of all of the young people confined in the TYC," he said. "Right behind that is my determination to find out who committed crimes, who was involved in a cover up and make sure these people are indicted and they go to jail."

Also Monday, the Senate State Affairs Committee passed a constitutional amendment resolution that would increase the threshold for granting eminent domain authority to local or regional governmental bodies. Senator Robert Duncan of Lubbock, who authored Senate Joint Resolution 3, said that the Legislature has been too careless with giving local governments or political entities the power to seize private property for the purpose of economic development. "The notion is that we need to be more careful in this Legislature when we provide for eminent domain authority," said Duncan. This measure would require a two-thirds vote of both houses of the Legislature to approve bills that would grant eminent domain authority. This resolution will now go to the full Senate for further consideration.

The Senate will reconvene Tuesday, March 6, at 10 a.m.

Session video and all other webcast recordings can be accessed from the Senate website's audio and video archive pages.

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