This week, we are expected to continue making major legislative moves based on last week’s success. Last week, we made major legislative moves. I was able to present six bills which were able to make major legislation progress within the capitol.
The first piece of legislation was HB117 which would require teachers to take an online human trafficking course once every three years. This will keep our teachers updated on the signs and information regarding students who could potentially be victims of human trafficking. The bill will move on to the Education Instruction Full Committee this week.
The second bill is HB843 which would allow state prisons to continue to use the most updated technology to do mammograms and other breast exams for female prisoners while also educating them on options. While women have made mistakes in life, we want to make sure they're able to access the most up to date healthcare services, even in prison. This bill will move on to the State Full Committee this week.
Next, we presented HB17 which is our beloved Human Trafficking bill inspired by Cyntoia Brown. This bill would allow victims of human trafficking who cause bodily harm or death due to fear for their life during the act to claim self-defense through tesitonmy in court. This is an important step because we are closing a loophole in the criminal justice system and protecting victims. We are excited this bill is moving on to the Criminal Justice Full Committee this week.
We also presented HB 46 which creates statewide lead testing programs for LEAs developed by the state department of education and the state department of health. Additionally, the bill hopes to implement more strict rules on the amount of lead found in water and mediation plans for LEAs. This bill is important to reduce the amount of lead in water in our children’s schools statewide and create a unified accountability program. We received pushback on this bill because local school districts, including our own, do not want to pay for remediation or claim to not have the resources to remediate lead sources found. It’s my opinion that removing lead from our children’s drinking water should be the highest priority. This bill was placed on the last calendar.
Our Doula bill, House Joint Resolution 4 (HJR4), which recognizes Doulas as vital health professionals, passed out of health full committee and is headed to Calendar and Rules Committee. This is the last step in the committee process before this legislation hits the house floor! Let’s keep going!
Lastly, HB340 would require law enforcement to use video or audio recording when interrogating juveniles in custody passed out of the children and families subcommittee. We are excited to push this bill and it will bring integrity and transparency to the justice system. This bill will be heard in the Civil Justice Committee this week.
As you can see, I will continue to push legislation that will promote Strong Schools, Healthy Families, and Safe Communities.