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Relating to the age of a child at which a juvenile court may exercise jurisdiction over the child and to the minimum age of criminal responsibility.
Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for HB 1783, As Introduced: a positive impact of $10,728,190 through the biennium ending August 31, 2023.
HB 1783 would raise the age of a child eligible for the juvenile justice system from 10 to 13. It would also raise the age for juvenile justice purposes from 18 to 19 for individuals who committed certain offenses before turning 18 and who are under the continuing jurisdiction of a juvenile court. All mentions of the existing ages in provisions of the code related to criminal procedure would be updated to reflect the new ages.
Texas Action supports HB 1783 because it would promote proper personal responsibility and limit the number of minors subjected to the criminal justice system. Adults are held responsible by the government for their choices because they act as free individuals. State law correctly recognizes the diminished ability of minors to act in the same way due to lesser development. While the minimum age of juvenile court jurisdiction is largely up to the discretion of lawmakers, HB 1783 would limit the severe consequences of the criminal justice system for minors under the age of 13, instead referring them to court supervision and services.