Capitol Report: Texting While Driving Ban Passes, Next Steps for West Dallas & More

Posted by Troy Williams on May 23, 2017 at 4:53 PM

We are only a week away from the end of the 85th Texas Legislature.  Here are some important updates from last week.

Passage of House Bill 245

With the help of Senator John Whitmire, my House Bill 245, which would enforce the reporting of peace officer deaths and officer-involved shootings in Texas, passed out of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee unanimously last week.  If House Bill 245 passes out of the Senate and is signed into law, Texas will have most comprehensive law on reporting peace officer deaths and officer-involved shootings in the United States.  Read more about the legislation in this article in The Root.

Next Steps for West Dallas

I filed House Bill 2480 this session to protect West Dallas residents from involuntary displacement due to gentrification.  Although the bill was killed, many of the provisions that House Bill 2480 would have mandated, the City of Dallas can do voluntarily.  It is important to demand a city government that is responsive to the needs of all of its citizens.  Read this editorial in the Dallas Morning News on what can still be done to prevent displacement in West Dallas.

James Madison High School State Championship Recognition

The Great James Madison High School in my district won the 2017 University Interscholastic League (UIL) 3A Boys' Basketball State Championship in March.  I was honored to recognize the head coach, Damon Barnett, championship game MVP, Patrick Terry, and leading scorer, Jemichael Bowens, on the House floor last week and present them with a resolution honoring their hard-fought win.  

House Bill 674 Passes Out of Senate Committee on Education

Thanks to Senator Sylvia Garcia, my House Bill 674, which would prohibit the suspension of students in prekindergarten through second grade, passed out of the Senate Education Committee last week by a 7-3 vote. 


Statewide Texting While Driving Ban Passes

House Bill 62, a statewide texting while driving ban, is now headed to Governor Abbott's desk.  I was able to amend the bill prior to its passage to ensure that individuals cannot be arrested for texting while driving.  Read my statement on the bill's passage below.

Texas Savings Promotion Act Passes

Last week, my House Bill 471 and House Joint Resolution 37 passed out of the Texas Senate by a vote of 30-1, thanks to the help of Senator Kelly Hancock.  Read more about the impact my bill and resolution will have on combating predatory lending.  

Dallas & The Legislature: A Recap of the 85th Texas Legislature

I will be participating in The Texas Tribune's Dallas & The Legislature: A Recap of the 85th Session on June 2, 2017.  The event is part of a series of events focusing on the major policy debates of the 85th Texas Legislature and what they mean for the state’s largest cities and surrounding communities.  Watch live here on June 2, 2017.

Stay tuned for our last Capitol Report of the Regular Session of the 85th Texas Legislature next week! 


Rep. Johnson posts frequent updates about his work to Facebook and Twitter.
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