Texas Legislature Bill 476 & 1510


Employers are nervous about hiring people with criminal records. Recidivism statistics show those with felony convictions as much more likely to commit crimes than those without felony convictions. Housing providers feel the same way for the same reason. Besides just scaring people, employers and housing providers are worried about the liability. If you hire or rent an apartment to a person with a document history of killing or raping or robbing people, and they then do something bad to one of your other tenants or employees, who do you think is going to get sued? Here's a hint: It's not going to be the criminal.

Still, there are nearly a million people in Texas with felony criminal records if you count those behind bars, those on probation or parole, and those "off paper" who have completed their sentences. They all need jobs, and they all have to live somewhere.

How do you tackle this public policy problem?

Bills filed by Houston legislators last year included 

H.B 476 http://openstates.org/tx/bills/84/HB476/

Here's the same for H.B. 1510: http://openstates.org/tx/bills/84/HB1510/


Here's the witness list for H.B. 476: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/witlistmtg/pdf/C2002015032608001.PDF

Here's the witness list for H.B. 1510



Write an essay on these two bills. Identify the bill number and author for each. Explain what each bill was designed to do, who favored and opposed them, what ultimately happened to each one, and how you would vote on each if you were a member of the legislature.

Submit in Word. Cite your sources.




For anything to do with the Texas Legislature, start with the Texas Legislature's website: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

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