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SB 746 will have a negative impact of $13,163,593 through the biennium ending August 31, 2017.
This bill would change the name of the Office of Violent Sex Offender Management (OVSOM) to the Texas Civil Commitment Office (“office”). The successor organization would be responsible for developing and implementing a sex offender treatment program.
The composition of the multidisciplinary team authorized under the Civil Commitment of Violent Sexual Predators chapter of code would change by adding a mental health professional, one person from the sex offender rehabilitation program, a licensed peace officer, and a licensed sex offender treatment provider. This bill would make several amendments to the discretionary authority of a judges with respect to the terms of civil commitment for these offenders.
No amendments or modifications have been made to the bill since we reported on it. We continue to remain neutral.
First chamber analysis below:
The purpose of this bill is to address significant deficiencies identified at the OVSOM. This reform legislation would overhaul the way the state handles the civil commitment of violent sexual offenders. Dealing with this issue effectively is clearly within the proper role of state government and, to the extent that this legislation seeks to fix serious deficiencies in the current process this is likely a step in the right direction. That said, there is no clear basis for us to evaluate whether this legislation would achieve its aims and be substantively better than the status quo with respect to our liberty principles. Bearing this in mind we remain neutral on SB 746.