- Authorizes drivers license and insurance checkpoints (after the Lege and courts have repeatedly rejected DWI checkpoints, which is what police really want).
- Authorizes a two-year statewide pilot program of roadside license plate readers with tracking data gathered by a private contractor.
- Requires police officers in the field to check the immigration status of arrestees with ICE instead of leaving the task to county jails after arrest.
- Requires county jails to calculate and report every month the cost of the unfunded mandate caused by increased incarceration from #3, above.
- Changes the duties of "special" Texas Rangers to include background investigations and monitoring sex offenders as well as two man patrols in "high threat areas" (no word if that's the border or central Houston).
- Increases penalties for organized crime but in certain cases removes the requirement of an "overt act" to establish that someone is part of a criminal conspiracy.
Another billl by Chairman Williams, SB 1694, would allow law enforcement agencies to put a tracking device on your vehicle without a court order!
There is one promising if modest bill up from my own state Sen. Kirk Watson, SB 1572, limiting the information that can be gathered by fusion centers thusly:
A fusion center may not:If they passed that bill I might feel (slightly, marginally) less awful about the idea of putting up license plate readers here there and yon, since the only limitation presently in SB 9 is that the data must only be used "for law enforcement." But really I'm hoping most of the Big Brotherish stuff will get rejected, if only because of the fiscal note (which hasn't been released yet) and the local impact of expanding peace officer duties given limited resources. All these checkpoints, the data collection and analysis, the extra immigration-related enforcement and incarceration, all cost money, if the Lege is honest about it, and seems unwise at a point in time when the state needs to scale back its activities, not find new unfunded mandates and gadgetry to waste the taxpayers' money on.
(1) review, collect, or maintain noncriminal information or criminal intelligence data about the political, religious, or social views, associations, military history, or activities of any individual or any group, association, corporation, business, partnership, or other organization unless the information directly relates to criminal conduct or activity and reasonable suspicion exists that the subject of the information is or may be involved in criminal conduct or activity; or
(2) review, collect, or maintain protected health information, biometric information, or personally identifiable information unless the information directly relates to criminal conduct or activity and reasonable suspicion exists that the subject of the information is or may be involved in criminal conduct or activity.
RELATED: See coverage of SB 9 from the Conroe Courier.