Missed Opportunities in Texas

Last night, as the Texas House of Representatives hit the deadline to consider Senate bills, the state lost the opportunity to act on a host of important legislative initiatives, including several significant criminal justice reform bills. A partisan meltdown over a bill requiring photo identification for voters led to parliamentary maneuvering and delay. SB 116 and SB 117 would have demonstrated Texas's increasing commitment to a more fair and accurate criminal justice system. Instead, these bills now represent two missed opportunities for justice in Texas.

SB 116 states that, when practical, police should electronically record custodial interrogations in their entirety from the Miranda warnings forward. The Justice Project's policy review on recording interrogations highlights the use of electronic recording as a vital tool to help protect the innocent as well as convict the guilty. If passed, SB 116 would have put the legislature on record in support of this important policy, and provided leverage for pushing police departments to implement recording policies.

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And you don't think we need to change the whole Healthcare system?

Then read this article,Referral System Turns Patients Into Commodities
in the NY Times. Here's an exerpt:

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Voter Fraud Myth Used to Push Voting Policies that Harken Back to the Jim Crow Era

Cross posted at Project Vote's Voting Matters Blog

By Erin Ferns

Recent studies show that a more diverse electorate turned out last November, including historically underrepresented young and minority voters. Since the election, Republican operatives have continued to use the specter of voter fraud to loosen regulations on voter suppression activities while pushing policies to make voting more difficult for the crop of new voters.

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Weekly Audit: Curbing Credit Card Abuses

 

by Zach Carter, TMC MediaWire Blogger 

While the bank lobby continues to hold significant clout in Congress, President Barack Obama entered the fray on behalf of consumers Thursday, demanding that lenders put an end to abusive fees and predatory interest rates.  

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Bad Election Bill Riles Up Advocates, Concerns Fla. Governor

For most states this year, the economic crisis has taken precedent over other serious policy issues, including election reform. In fact, the few key states that are dedicating this year's session to election reform instead of major budget issues are stirring up voters as they put their rights on the line. Like the highly publicized battles to pass voter ID in Texas and proof-of-citizenship registration requirements in Georgia, Florida's notorious 80-plus page omnibus election bill takes the cake in breaking the spirit of democracy.

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