Here is some additional post-Harvey information to update what we sent out on Tuesday, plus two notes related to new legislation.
Hurricane Harvey relief fund for prosecutors
In the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, the Texas District and County Attorney’s Foundation Board of Trustees has created its own Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. This fund’s sole purpose is to help Texas prosecutor office staff members who have suffered losses in the wake of the recent storms, with 100 percent of your tax-deductible donations going to eligible prosecutor staff members (something that not all charitable entities are willing to promise, apparently). Evacuations and ongoing flooding are still keeping many people from their homes so we can’t provide more specifics at this point, but we know the need will be great.
Please spread the word among your office and community about this unique giving opportunity and donate what you can to help our friends and fellow TDCAA members get back on their feet. Donations can be made online at this Foundation webpage; simply select the Hurricane Harvey relief fund to ensure your donation is dedicated to that purpose. (Note also that this relief effort will not accept gifts from any government-related funding source.) For more information, call Rob Kepple at 512/474-2436.
We will provide further information about this unique giving opportunities at the Annual Criminal and Civil Law Update in San Antonio. More than just Texans helping Texans, let’s have Texas prosecutors helping Texas prosecutors!
Rescheduled Legislative Update for Edinburg
We have rescheduled our Legislative Update class in Edinburg for Friday, September 8, from 1:30–5:00 p.m., at the UT-RGV campus. This class will be held in a different room from original schedule, so please note the new location:
UT-Rio Grande Valley
Community Engagement and Student Success (CESS) Bldg., Room 1.300
1407 E. Freddy Gonzalez Dr.
Edinburg, TX 78539
Plenty of free parking will be available and new registrations will be accepted; sign up online at this webpage to register. All prior registrations from the cancelled Edinburg event will automatically be transferred to this rescheduled date; if you previously registered but are unable to attend on the new date, please email Dayatra Rogers at call her at 512/474-2436 to change or cancel your registration.
Please check our website later next week for information on a potential re-scheduling of the Conroe Legislative Update that was also cancelled due to Hurricane Harvey.
If you have been unable to make it any of our previous 19 Legislative Update classes, online registration for our finale in San Antonio on September 19 is still open HERE. All attendees receive 3 hours of CLE and/or TCOLE credit along with a copy of our 116-page Legislative Update book, and TDCAA members in good standing who register online receive a $25 discount off the $125 registration fee.
Delay for sanctuary cities law
As you may have seen in the news, a federal judge in San Antonio recently granted a preliminary injunction against the implementation of most of SB 4, the sanctuary cities bill. You may read the order here. It’s almost 100 pages long, but you can skip to the end for the actual injunction language. The attorney general has already announced plans to appeal that ruling, so settle in for what could be a long legal process before we know what, if anything, will eventually pass muster with the courts.
TDCJ notices in 3g cases
Those of you who have attended one of our Legislative Update classes or purchased our related book know that the legislature imposed a new duty on felony prosecutors to notify TDCJ any time you indict someone for a 3g case who also has a prior pen trip for a previous 3g offense. (See HB 104, effective December 1, 2017). We have now received from TDCJ instructions on where those legislatively-mandated notices should be sent starting in December:
TDCJ Victim Services
Email (preferred method): [email protected]
Mailing Address: 8712 Shoal Creek Blvd., Suite 265, Austin, TX 78757
This contact information will also be posted to TDCJ’s website, along with a form to make submission of the information easier. We will remind everyone of this information again in November before the new law takes effect, but if you have questions about HB 104 before then, please direct those to Mary McCaffity, Deputy Director of TDCJ’s Victim Services Division, at 512/406-5923 (but do not send any forms or notices to her).