The Texas State Senate - Leticia Van De Putte Press Releases
From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte
For Immediate Release
September 1, 2011
Contact: Sarah Gomez, 512-463-0126 / 956-459-2043 (weekend)
Senator Van de Putte Making a Difference in San Antonio
(AUSTIN) — A number of state and local bills passed by Senator Van de Putte (D-26) during the 82nd Legislature took effect today. Consistent with her legislative priorities, Senator Van de Putte passed 58 bills that reflect her 20 year record of advocating for veterans, children, quality public education, and the economic development of San Antonio.
"While the issues considered 'emergencies' this past session tended to perpetuate a widening partisan divide, I was pleased to have successfully bridged this divide enough to accomplish what I believe to be more worthy of the title 'emergency' — being prepared to provide services and support for those who so selflessly keep us safe — our military, veterans, and their families."
- IMPROVING VETERANS QUALITY OF LIFE: As Chair of the Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee, Senator Van de Putte passed 12 bills related to veterans and their families. She collaborated with veterans organizations and CPS energy to craft Senate Bill (SB) 1002. This law allows San Antonio's CPS Energy to offer a monthly electric bill discount to burned military veterans who have sustained severe burns in combat. Texas veterans will also benefit from SB 1736 — better known as College Credit for Heroes. She collaborated with the Governor and higher education officials to develop a law that permits veterans to receive academic and workforce education credits for military service.
- STOPPING BULLYING IN SCHOOLS: In light of the increasing documented tragedies related to bullying in Texas and across the country, Senator Van de Putte collaborated with Representative Diane Patrick (R-Arlington) to craft HB 1942, an anti-bullying bill. This law requires school districts to implement a comprehensive anti-bullying program that integrates awareness, prevention, identification, and intervention of bullying into the Health Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) exam. Further, it requires school districts to adopt a bullying policy and provide counseling options to students.
- STRENGTHENING THE ALAMO: As the state's number one tourist destination, the Alamo is undeniably important to the people of San Antonio and to all Texans. For this reason, amid troubling reports concerning the stewardship of the Alamo by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Senator Van de Putte spearheaded legislation to provide an organizational roadmap to ensure that the Alamo will be effectively preserved and properly managed for future generations. With the support of Representative Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City), she successfully passed HB 3726, which places the Alamo under the jurisdiction of the General Land Office (GLO). The law requires the GLO to enter into a non-profit agreement with the DRT for the management, operation, and financial support of the Alamo complex.
- ADVANCING JOBS THROUGH CYBERSECURITY: In agreement with the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce's foresight regarding the future economic opportunities and security challenges surrounding cybersecurity, Senator Van de Putte authored SB 988 to create the Cyber Security, Education, and Economic Development Council. Comprised of members from governmental agencies, businesses, and institutions of higher education, the Council will research and recommend improvements to the infrastructure of cyber security technology, and indentify methods to facilitate the growth of this rising industry.
- COMBATING HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Aware of the prevalence of human trafficking globally, domestically, and locally, Senator Van de Putte partnered with Representative Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) to pass Senate Bill 24, HB 2014, HB 2015, and HB 3000 on human trafficking. SB 24, one of the first pieces of legislation to pass both chambers, increases penalties for human traffickers and provides new protections for child victims. It clarifies the definitions of sex and labor trafficking, extends the criminal statute of limitations for human trafficking crimes, and increases the penalty for compelling prostitution of a child to a felony of the first degree. Further, it requires sex traffickers to register in the Texas Sex Offender Registry.
For a full list of new laws, visit Texas Legislature Online: www.capitol.state.tx.us/Reports/General.aspx