PRESS RELEASE FROM SEN. EDDIE LUCIO, JR.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 19, 2007
CONTACT: Doris Sanchez , Press Secretary
Phone: (512) 463-0385

TWO OF SENATOR LUCIO'S BILLS SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

AUSTIN, TX -- On Monday, July 16, Governor Rick Perry signed Senate Bill 704 and Senate Bill 74 by Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. in a traditional bill signing ceremony.

"It is always an honor to be the author of a bill signed in the Capitol by the Governor of the State," said Sen. Lucio. "These bills were the result of cooperative efforts, and the bill signing is a way to recognize not only the work of the author, but also that of fellow legislators and supporters of the measures. I thank my son, Rep. Eddie Lucio III, who sponsored the bill in the House."

SB 704 adds bonding assistance and safety training to the Small Contractor Participation Assistance Program, originally established in 1993 under the Texas Building and Procurement Commission. This legislation will implement and expand the program to include in-depth technical assistance in insurance and bonding, as well as safety training. Small and minority contractors will now have an opportunity to bid for more public works projects, saving the state money through a more competitive bid process. Public works contracts tend to be huge multi-million dollar agreements, and currently few small contractors win these contracts because they lack adequate bonding coverage to handle these large projects.

Sen. Lucio is pleased that "the small contractor's access to bonding will increase the number of bids submitted for public works and will expand the likelihood that small contractors will be awarded contracts."

SB 74 will make possible an address confidentiality program to assist eligible victims of family violence, sexual assault or stalking, and allows the use of pseudonyms to further assist victims. It directs the Attorney General to designate a substitute post office box address for these crime victims in lieu of a physical address. There is currently no mechanism in Texas to help victims of family violence, sexual assault or stalking keep their residences confidential. Now qualified applicants will be given this measure of protection, plus the ability to use pseudonyms when filling out forms for law enforcement officers or agencies in domestic violence cases. The pseudonym would be confidential and disclosed only to the defendant or the defendant's attorney, except when a court order is issued for other matters.

"I want to thank all the supporters of this bill, and my colleagues in the House, Rep. Veronica Gonzales and Rep. Ryan Guillen, for their work on this bill," said Sen. Lucio.

In cases of family violence, the abuse often escalates when victims leave the relationship and seek a new address. According to the Texas Council on Family Violence, 143 Texas women were killed by their male intimate partners in 2005. Sixteen of those victims were killed as they were leaving the relationship or after they had already left.

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Senator Lucio is joined by Rep. Ryan Guillen (San Diego), supporters of the measure and staff, as Gov. Rick Perry signs Senate Bill 74.Senator Lucio is joined by his son, Rep. Eddie Lucio III, supporters of the measure and staff, as Gov. Rick Perry signs Senate Bill 704.

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