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Rep. Kyle Kacal’s constitutional amendment passes Texas House

House Joint Resolution (HJR) 4 would give judges, justices of the peace and magistrates the ability to deny bail for defendants charged with violent and heinous offenses.
Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 2:42 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, Texas (KBTX) - For Rep. Kyle Kacal, (R), one of his biggest priorities of the 87th legislative session is House Joint Resolution (HJR) 4, which would give judges, justices of the peace and magistrates the ability to deny bail for defendants charged with violent offenses, sexual offenses or continuous human trafficking offenses. Tuesday night the legislation passed the Texas House of Representatives with 104 votes and now moves on to the Senate.

The constitutional amendment comes as a package with HB20, which focuses on the training of magistrates of where they can deny bail, according to the Representative.

Safety is the main reason behind this legislation.

Kacal first started this process during the 86th Legislation Session as part of the “Damon Allen Act.”

While Kacal believes in the importance of bail in the criminal justice system, he does say that bail reform is a must in Texas. Through this resolution, he hopes to lay the groundwork for continued bail reform.

Now that the bill has passed the House, it will move to the Senate. In the Senate, it will require a two-thirds vote, and Kacal believes he has bi-partisan support. If passed in the Senate, it will then move to the governor for his signature, and if he signs it, it would be placed on the ballot to be voted on by Texans in November.

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