Government Funding Bill Includes Key Priorities for Texas Law Enforcement
I supported the passage of the Omnibus Appropriations bill, which funds the federal government through the end of the 2017 fiscal year, and includes funding for several Department of Justice programs and priorities important to Texas law enforcement:
Department of Justice
The Omnibus Appropriations bill of 2017 funds critical programs in the state of Texas that keep our communities safe, protect victims of crimes, and enable our local law enforcement agencies to better serve Texans through additional resources and support.
- Fighting the Backlog of Untested Rape Kits- The legislation provides $125 million for the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Reduction Act, which dedicates much-needed resources to state and local law enforcement agencies to conduct forensic analyses of backlogged crime scenes, including untested rape kits. In the 113th Congress, I was the sponsor of legislation to reauthorize the Debbie Smith Act for five years and introduced legislation requiring at least 75 percent of Debbie Smith Act funds be spent directly on either analyzing untested DNA evidence or increasing the capacity of labs.
- Active Shooter Training for First Responders- The legislation allocates $7.5 million for implementation of the POLICE Act, a bill introduced by me after working closely with Texas police and sheriffs’ departments and became law in the 115th Congress. The POLICE Act provides active shooter training for first responders and law enforcement officers at facilities like the ALERRT Center at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX.
- Protecting the Victims of Human Trafficking- The legislation provides $45 million for human trafficking victims’ services and additional law enforcement resources to fight modern-day slavery. Because of its proximity to the international border, multiple large metropolitan areas, and transportation infrastructure, Texas is one of the nation’s hubs for this horrible crime. I sponsored the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, which was signed into law in 2015 and strengthened our nation’s response to domestic human trafficking.