Senate Criminal Justice Committee Works on Interim Charges
AUSTIN - The Senate Criminal Justice Committee met today, Tuesday, August 24, 2004, to hear invited and public testimony on their interim charges #1 and #6.
Charge #1 is for the committee to study identity theft and its effects, and the impact of recent legislation addressing the issue (HB 2138, SB 473 and SB566, 78th Legislature), to make recommendations for enhancing the Texas' ability to implement effective programs to prevent identity theft, and to monitor federal legislation regarding identity theft to ensure that state and federal laws are complementary and make recommendations for improvements. Testifying on identity theft issues were invitees Mr. Paul Carmona, Chief of Consumer Protection Division, Texas Office of the Attorney General; Mr. Scott Hefner, Investigation Division, Texas Office of the Attorney General; and Mr. Frank Elder, Assistant Chief, Drivers License Division, Texas Department of Public Safety.
Charge #6 directs the committee to review the Crime Victims Compensation Fund (Fund), including state and local competition, use in state agency methods of finance, evaluation of grant programs, possible diversion of funds from crime victims as a result of prior legislation, and whether the Fund meets the objectives of its authorizing legislation.
Invited testimony on charge #6 included Mr. Herman Milholland, Division Chief, Crime Victim Services, Texas Office of the Attorney General; and Ms. Alicia Key, Office of Court Administration.
The Committee is chaired by Senator John Whitmire. Membership includes Sen. John Carona (vice-chair), Sen. Rodney Ellis, Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Sen. Steve Ogden, Sen. Kel Seliger, and Sen. Tommy Williams. The committee recessed subject to the call of the chair.