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HB 2704, if passed, would modify the Agriculture Code (Section 13.037) by removing all measuring requirements in this section of code. The word “knowingly” is removed from this section of code which deals with criminal penalties for using incorrect weighing or measuring devices.
HB 2704 goes in exactly the wrong direction. As the code currently stands, one can only be punished under this section of code if it can be shown that an offense was committed knowingly. This requirement is a key component of United States and Texas law. The concept predates the founding of this country and is a significant component on which the western concepts of law and justice were developed. If passed HB 2704 would allow criminal penalties to be instituted independent of intention, potentially for honest mistakes.
HB 2704 is a very poor guard against fraud, is open to abuse, and is opposed to the important mens rea legal principle. We strongly oppose HB 2704.