This Week At The Capitol With Texas Rep. Zwiener

This Week At The Capitol With Texas Rep. Zwiener

Rep. Zwiener Introduces Resolution Naming Kyle the Official “Pie Capital of Texas”

Austin, TX — State Representative Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood) today laid out House Concurrent Resolution 89, which would name the City of Kyle the official “Pie Capital of Texas.” Laying out the resolution in front of the Culture, Recreation, and Tourism Committee, Rep. Zwiener pointed out Kyle is home to the Texas Pie Company, the Pie in the Sky Hot Air Balloon Festival, and multiple city-wide pie day celebrations each year.

“In recent years, the Central Texas community of Kyle has begun to garner attention as the Lone Star State’s premier source of delicious pies,” Rep. Zwiener said. “This includes everyone from young families starting out to the upper crust.

In giving Kyle this designation, this slice of Texas will be able to expand their brand and continue to actively recruit pie-making companies while increasing pie-o-diversity in the area.”

HCR 89 would take effect this year and designate Kyle as the official Pie Capital of Texas for the next ten years.

State Representative Erin Zwiener Lays Out Two Landmark Bills to Fight Sexual Assault

Austin, TX — Three landmark bills authored by Representative Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood) aimed at fighting sexual misconduct advanced in the legislative process this week. Wednesday evening, Rep. Zwiener laid out in front of the House Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee House Bill 2672 and HB 2678 on the topic of sexual assault statistics, prosecutions, and reporting.

HB 2672 would require the Department of Public Safety to compile and release data about the number of sexual assault reports, referrals for prosecution, and attempted prosecutions while HB 2678 would monitor and compile statistics involving sexual assault victims who receive a forensic medical examination before reporting the assault to law enforcement. Both bills are aimed at giving researchers and advocates the tools they need to understand the breadth of sexual assault in Texas and better train investigators and prosecutors in how to best handle these cases.

“We can’t hope to make progress on the enforcement of sexual assault if we can’t study the data,” Rep. Zwiener said. “Right now there is no single source of data that provides a complete picture of crimes related to sexual assault offenses in Texas. With this legislation, we can begin to understand and address why victims of sexual violence are less likely to receive justice.”

Wednesday’s bill layouts came the same week as Rep. Zwiener’s HB 2279, which would extend sexual harassment protections to employees at workplaces with 14 or fewer employees, passed unanimously out of the House International Relations & Economic Development Committee Monday.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This month, the Texas House has passed a number of measures aimed at helping survivors of sexual assault including Rep. Victoria Neave’s House Bill 8 to address the backlog in untested rape kits. Rep. Zwiener is a coauthor on that bill.

Rep. Zwiener’s Sexual Misconduct Bills:

HB 2278 would increase the window in which a sexual harassment claim can be made from 180 days to a full two years.

HB 2279 would allow the Texas Workforce Commission to accept sexual harassment claims from employees of companies of all sizes. (Senator Zaffirini is carrying the companion, SB 46.)

HB 2672 would create a study to be conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety to investigate the disparity between sexual assault offenses and actual prosecution.

HB 2678 requires the Texas Department of Public Safety to compile and maintain statistics on the number of victims of sexual assault to a law enforcement agency after receiving a forensic medical examination.

Texas State University System Would Receive $370 Million from New Bill Supported by State Representative Erin Zwiener

Austin, TX — State Rep. Erin Zwiener Wednesday, April 17, voted in favor of House Bill 2000, filed by Rep. Chris Paddie, which issues $369.6 million to the Texas State University System in tuition revenue bonds and for construction and infrastructure improvement projects. $90 million of those funds would go to Texas State University’s main campus in San Marcos. Rep. Zwiener is a co-author on the legislation, which is authored by Rep. Chris Turner (D-Grand Prairie) and focuses on facility improvement projects on higher education campuses across the state of Texas.

“I am thankful to represent Texas State in the Capitol, and I am proud of the funding we were able to secure for the university today,” said Rep. Zwiener. “These funds will help to enrich the lives of students and their experiences in the classroom. San Marcos students will have a new, state-of-the-art building in which to learn and grow.”

$90 million of the funds going to the Texas State University System will go directly toward construction of a STEM classroom building at the Texas State University main campus located in San Marcos, Texas. HB 2000 authorizes the issuance of a total of $3.8 billion in tuition revenue bonds and construction projects to institutions around the state of Texas.

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