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Relating to the prosecution of the criminal offense of passing a
school bus; increasing a criminal penalty.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 4070 would make it a second-degree felony to pass a school bus if it results in serious bodily injury to another person (raised from a Class A misdemeanor) and would repeal the provision of law that provides for a state jail felony if a person has been previously convicted of causing serious bodily injury by passing a bus.
Texas Action opposes HB 4070 for violating the principle of limited government. While we have no particular sympathy for people who commit this offense, increasing this crime to a second-degree felony is disproportionate to the crime. This escalates the penalty to a level three classes higher than the current penalty which is a significant jump.
The penalty would jump from up to one year in jail as a misdemeanor offense to 2-20 years in jail as a second degree felony, and attach to the defendant all of the disabilities associated with felony conviction including the inability to obtain a wide array of occupational licenses.
Due to this excessive penalty increase, we oppose HB 4070.