SB 201

86(R) - 2019
Senate State Affairs
House Criminal Jurisprudence
Senate State Affairs
House Criminal Jurisprudence
Criminal Procedure

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Positive
  • Neutral


Joan Huffman


Brandon Creighton
Lois Kolkhorst


Tom Oliverson

Bill Caption

Relating to increasing the criminal penalties for certain offenses committed in a disaster area or an evacuated area.

Fiscal Notes

The fiscal impact of implementing the bill is indeterminate due to the lack of data or information related to areas which would be impacted by future disasters or evacuations and the number of times the punishment would be increased because the offense occurred in these areas.

Bill Analysis

SB 201 would amend Sect. 12.50(b) and (c) of the Penal Code to add additional offenses for which the penalty is increased if they are committed in a disaster area or evacuated area. The added offenses are arson, burglary of vehicles, and criminal trespass. The punishment would be increased to the punishment prescribed for the next higher category of offense.

Vote Recommendation Notes

Texas Action supports SB 201 because it promotes personal responsibility and limited government. A proper function of a limited government is an effective criminal justice system, which includes punishments being proportionate to the crime. Arson, robbery of a vehicle, and theft committed in disaster areas or during evacuations impose a cost upon society and the aggrieved individuals in a time when they are already likely to face large costs from the natural disaster or evacuation. This makes these crimes more heinous than usual, thus the penalty can proportionately increase as well.