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Relating to enhancing the criminal penalty for aggravated assault committed in or on school property or on a passenger transportation vehicle of a primary or secondary school.
The probable fiscal impact of implementing the bill is indeterminate due to the lack of data
or information related to the location of the offense or, if occurring in transit, the origin or
destination of the transportation vehicle used. These data are necessary to determine the
number of cases subject to the bill's enhancement provision.
HB 1381 would enhance the penalty for aggravated assault from a second degree felony to a first degree felony if the offense is committed: (1) in or on any property that is owned or leased by a public or private primary or secondary school; or (2) on a passenger transportation vehicle that is owned or operated by a public or private primary or secondary school, or by another entity under contract with such a school, and is being used to transport persons to or from the school or school-sponsored activities.
Texas Action remains neutral on HB 1381 because it does not affect our liberty principles. While we generally do not support increases in criminal penalties, this bill provides for specific situations involving serious bodily injury or deadly weapons in the commission of an assault on school property, likely to be occupied by minors. Serious bodily injury is defined under the Texas Penal Code as an "injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ." Considering the seriousness of this crime, and the potential harm it could cause due to the nature of the location, we remain neutral on this bill.