Sweeping arrest, jail reforms proposed with Sandra Bland Act
Criminal justice reform bill would strengthen profiling laws.
Using the 2015 jail death of Sandra Bland as a catalyst for change, a Houston Democratic legislator filed a sweeping criminal justice reform bill Thursday that would strengthen racial-profiling laws, prohibit jailing for fine-only offenses and limit police searches during traffic stops.
House Bill 2702, dubbed the Sandra Bland Act, is intended to improve the safety of police, the people they stop and the suspects they arrest and send to county jails, state Rep. Garnet Coleman said.
“This should make it safer for everyone,” he said at a news conference to unveil the bill outside the Texas Supreme Court building in downtown Austin.
Bland was found hanged in a Waller County Jail cell three days after a routine traffic stop escalated into a confrontation with a Department of Public Safety trooper and led to her arrest. Had the reforms in HB 2702 been in place two years
House Bill 1335 would create education savings accounts for certain students who want to leave public school.
The accounts, tied to debit cards, would be loaded with state money — equivalent to 90 percent of what school districts get from not set up to be