Dedicated to the Fair and Impartial Administration of Justice by Providing Quality Education, Assistance, and Support for Municipal Courts across the State of Texas.

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Legislative Session 2017


 

TMCA Calls for the Passage of Senate Bill  1913 Conference Committee Report
May 26, 2017

Yesterday you received an email asking support for HB 351.  Great effort has been made by many to make Senate Bill 1913 reflect the same language that is in HB 351.  As such it will be the balanced approach TMCA has sought.

Passing S. B. 1913 with the Conference Committee Report  is the backup plan if something goes wrong with the H.B. 351 vote.  In addition to supporting HB 351, TMCA supports the Conference Committee Report for SB 1913 as a backup in case something goes awry on the House Floor when HB 351 is voted on. 

Please notify your Senators and Representatives that TMCA supports the Conference Committee Report for SB 1913.

The session is drawing to a close and I hope not to make many more requests of you.  Many of you have answered the call to notify Senators and Representatives.  Your voices have been heard.

 TMCA wishes to thank Representative Canales and Senator Hinojosa, as well as Senator Judith Zaffirini, for their leadership on these important issues. TMCA also wants to thank TMCA members, friends and supporters from across the state who worked hard to make HB 351 and SB 1913 consistent with our desire for a balanced approach.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Please contact Stewart Milner, TMCA President @ stewart.milner@arlingtontx. gov or 817-459-6980.

 

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TMCA Calls for the Passage of HB 351  
May 25, 2017 

The Texas Municipal Courts Association (TMCA) supports legislation that promotes equal justice under the law for indigent criminal defendants, but opposes legislation that diminishes the ability of criminal courts to enforce their lawful judgments.  Throughout the 85th Texas Legislature, TMCA has advocated for a balanced approach between procedural fairness and upholding the rule of law.  

 

 TMCA is proud to support HB 351 by Representative Terry Canales. The bill embodies the spirit of collaboration, and contains amendments TMCA leadership, concerned judges, and proponents of HB 351 have worked tirelessly to advance throughout this Session.  The Senate Committee substitute to HB 351, sponsored by Senator Chuy Hinojosa, and supported by TMCA, will make meaningful improvements to the law governing indigent defendants.

 

On May 25, 2017, HB 351 was passed by the Senate and sent back to the House for concurrence with amendments made.  Please notify your State Representative to vote “Yes” on the concurrence of HB 351. 

 

TMCA wishes to thank Representative Canales and Senator Hinojosa, as well as Senator Judith Zaffirini, for their leadership on these important issues. TMCA also wants to thank TMCA members, friends and supporters from across the state who worked hard to make HB 351 consistent with our desire for a balanced approach.

 

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Please contact Stewart Milner, TMCA President @ stewart.milner@arlingtontx. gov or 817-459-6980.

 

ABOUT TMCA: The mission of TMCA is to provide continuing legal education, leadership, technical assistance, and other support programs for municipal court judges and support personnel, to insure fair and impartial administration of justice for all people.  TMCA has more than 1,000 members across Texas. TMCA members care about our cities and are dedicated to preserving quality of life and public safety in our communities.

 

 

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Urgent Legislative Request
May 23, 2017

Yesterday you all received an email stating that TMCA had withdrawn opposition to SB 1913.  That message was correct as long as the amendment that TMCA had worked on with proponents was passed as part of the bill.

The bill came up for a vote with the amendment and failed.  Later in the day the bill came back up for a vote without the amendments.  It has passed the 1st and 2nd reading without the amendments and is set for a vote today around 10 a.m.

At the request of Chief Justice Hecht there has been a continued effort of TMCA to work out additional amendments that may return the bill to the more balanced bill it was becoming.  TMCA will again oppose the bill if there are no amendments addressing TMCA concerns.

Please contact your house representative by phone message or email this morning before 9:30 a.m. and ask them not to pass this bill without the agreed upon amendments forged through good faith and hard work.

If you do not know who your representative is you can use this link to find the representative.  Cut and paste it to your browser.

http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

When you find them you should be able to find a Capitol phone number for them.

House members email addresses will be: 

firstname.lastname@house.texas.gov

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TMCA Withdraws Opposition to SB 1913;
Appreciates Legislative and Membership Efforts to Bring About Balanced Approach 
May 22, 2017  

The Texas Municipal Courts Association (TMCA) supports legislation that promotes equal justice under law for indigent criminal defendants but opposes legislation that diminishes the ability of criminal courts to enforce their lawful judgments.  

Throughout the 85th Texas Legislature, TMCA has advocated for a balanced approach between procedural fairness and upholding the rule of law.  Consider, for example, HB 351 by Representative Terry Canales, a bill supported by TMCA.

As announced on April 10, 2017, TMCA opposed SB 1913. The bill was filed on the last day of filing. TMCA was not provided the opportunity to review or comment on the bill prior to its filing. Most importantly, the bill as introduced, failed to strike the balanced approach between procedural fairness and the rule of law.

While collaboration came late, in recent weeks collaboration occurred. TMCA leadership, concerned judges, and proponents of SB 1913 have worked tirelessly to address TMCA’s concerns and the concerns of numerous municipalities and counties.  Interested parties have been assured that their concerns will be addressed in amendments when SB 1913 is brought to the floor of the Texas House of Representatives. The agreed to amendments will bring about a more balanced approach. The agreed to amendments will make meaningful improvements to the law governing indigent defendants. Therefore, TMCA withdraws its opposition to Senate Bill 1913. 

TMCA wishes to thank Representative Senfronia Thompson for her leadership. TMCA also wants to thank Senator Judith Zaffirini. Most importantly, TMCA wants to thank the extraordinary number of TMCA members, friends and supporters from across the state who worked hard to make SB 1913 something all Texans can be proud of.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  
Please contact Stewart Milner, TMCA President @ stewart.milner@arlingtontx.gov or 817-459-6980.
 

ABOUT TMCA: The mission of TMCA is to provide continuing legal education, leadership, technical assistance and other support programs for municipal court judges and support personnel, to insure fair and impartial administration of justice for all people.  TMCA has more than 1,000 members across. TMCA members care about our cities and are dedicated to preserving quality of life and public safety in our communities.