Rhetta is proud to have been a part of key criminal justice reforms that were passed in the 86th and 87th Legislative Sessions. While there is a lot more work to do to ensure racial justice and make the criminal justice system work for everyone, here are some bills that were passed in the last three years that she supported:
- SB 69 – Bans the use of chokeholds or similar neck restraints by law enforcement and went into effect on September 1, 2021.
- HB 8 – The Lavinia Masters Act which set new standards to track rape kits, clear the backlog by testing rape kits, and extend the statute of limitations.
- HB 54 – Prohibits law enforcement agencies from authorizing a person to film peace officers acting in the line of duty for the purpose of creating a reality television program.
- HB 929 – Bo’s Law bans police officers from turning off their body cameras during investigations. This bill is named after Botham Jean who was killed in his own home by a Dallas Police Officer and went into effect on September 1, 2021.
Rhetta hopes to pass the rest of the George Floyd Act and continue the work she and others have done to eliminate the school to prison pipeline. Rhetta promises to remain dedicated to making our communities safe for ALL of us, no matter what race, nationality, gender, or sexual orientation you are.
In terms of racial justice, Rhetta believes that there is more that unites us than divides us. While important gains have been made over the years in education, societal change, politics and several other areas, deeply rooted systemic racism does exist and unfortunately has persisted. Communities of color have continued to suffer inequities that leave them at a disadvantage in our society.
Rhetta will continue to work with leadership at all levels of government and others in our community who are unafraid to have the uncomfortable conversations necessary to find solutions, eliminate racial inequities, and eradicate racism. It will take all of us, working through this together, to find common ground solutions that will push us forward and in the right direction.
Rhetta believes that Texas can and will lead the way for our nation. If true racial reconciliation is the goal, we have to believe that there is more that unites than divides us and that we are more alike than we are different.