Landgraf Files House Bill 103 to Create Active Shooter Alert System

AUSTIN — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) filed House Bill 103 to create the Texas Active Shooter Alert System. The bill requires the state to implement a system to alert Texans if there is an active shooter in their area as determined by local law enforcement. Landgraf's proposal is designed to reduce mass violence without infringing on the constitutional rights of law-abiding Texans.

“Over Labor Day weekend last year, my hometown of Odessa, joined an ever-growing list of American cities that have tragically experienced a mass shooting,” Landgraf said. “In the aftermath, I received countless calls and messages from constituents with ideas on how to address the problem and prevent massive losses of life in the future. Everyone I’ve spoken with agrees that we have a need for this statewide active shooter alert system, similar to the Amber Alert.”

Landgraf crafted the proposed legislation after working with families of victims of the mass shooting in which a mobile gunman killed 7 and injured 25 across Midland and Odessa on August 31, 2019.

HB 103 requires the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to develop and implement an alert system to be activated on report of an active shooter. DPS would activate the alert system in a 50-mile radius of an active shooter's location on the request of a local law enforcement agency who determines there is an active shooter situation. The legislation also requires the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to establish a plan for providing relevant information to the public within 50 miles of an active shooter through its existing system of dynamic message signs located across the state.

“The goal of HB 103 is to save lives and assist first responders,” Landgraf continued. “An alert system of this kind could have helped spare the life of Odessa High School student, Leilah Hernandez, who was killed almost an hour after the shooting rampage began. That’s why Leilah’s family—and other victims’ families—are passionately advocating for this alert system. Now it’s time to get to work and get this bill to the governor’s desk.”

Landgraf and the other members of the Texas legislature will convene for the 87th Texas Legislative Session on January 12, 2021. Members of the Texas House and Texas Senate may begin filing bills for the 2021 legislative session as early as November 9, 2020. The Texas legislature meets at the Texas Capitol building for a 140-day regular session beginning the second Tuesday in January every odd-numbered year to vote on proposed legislation and pass a balanced state budget.


Texas Protective Order Registry Established by Monica’s Law Goes Live Across Texas

ODESSA — The Texas Protective Order Registry, which State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) created through “Monica’s Law,” is now in operation across all 254 Texas counties. The online database lists protective orders issued by Texas courts as a result of domestic violence, with victims’ privacy protections in place.

“The Texas Protective Order Registry fills in an information gap that existed between the courts, law enforcement and the public as it relates to protective orders arising from incidents of domestic violence,” Representative Landgraf said. “Now, repeat offenders of domestic abuse won't be able to hide their crimes by moving from county to county, because every court and law enforcement agency in the state will have access to a complete database of all protective orders.”

“Monica’s Law” was named in honor of Monica Deming, an Odessa mother who was murdered by an abusive ex-boyfriend in 2015. He was able to hide his violent past and protective orders filed against by exploiting the information gap in the system.

More than 1,800 protective orders have already been entered in the registry by court clerks across Texas. The Office of Court Administration (OCA) continues to provide training for courts and law enforcement agencies on how to use the system.

The publicly accessible portion of the Texas Protective Order Registry is now live as well. A protective order will only be entered into the searchable, public database when the person being protected expressly authorizes access. This access is subject to strict confidentiality standards to protect victims of family violence, stalking, sexual assault, and human trafficking.

“Monica and her family were unaware that her killer had two previous protective orders against him that he had been able to easily hide,” Representative Landgraf said. “Monica would likely still be alive today, had that information been accessible. That is precisely why we -- Monica’s family, Senator Joan Huffman, Representative Morgan Meyer, and so many West Texans -- worked so hard to pass Monica's Law. Lives will be saved through the Texas Protective Order Registry.”

The next phase of this project will allow courts, law enforcement, and prosecutors access to more complete protective order information than previously available under the law. This will enhance both the criminal justice response and safety planning for survivors.

The Texas Protective Order Registry can be viewed at:
www.txcourts.gov/judicial-data/protective-order-registry  


Early Voting Begins Today!

Early voting begins today and ends on October 30, 2020.

You may vote at any early voting location in your county of registration. Here are the the early voting details for the four counties I serve.

Andrews County:
James Roberts Center, 855 E. State Hwy. 176 in Andrews, (weekdays only) 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (expanded hours of 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Oct. 19th and Oct. 22nd).

Ector County: (Click here for details.)

Ward County:
Ward County Courthouse, 400 S. Allen, Suite 101 in Monahans, (weekdays only) 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Winkler County:
Winkler County Clerk’s Office, 100 E. Winkler St. in Kermit, (weekdays only) 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (expanded hours of 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Oct. 26th and Oct. 27th).


Landgraf Fights to Expand Broadband Access

ODESSA — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) is taking an active role in the fight to expand broadband access in rural West Texas communities. After signing on to a letter submitted to Governor Greg Abbott calling for a statewide broadband plan, Landgraf joined other members of the legislature on a call with Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) officials on Wednesday to discuss the Texas Universal Service Fund, a funding source for rural telecommunication infrastructure improvements headed for insolvency.

“We need a robust statewide network that can carry voice, data and wireless traffic,” Landgraf said. “The coronavirus has exacerbated the already pressing need for rural communities to have reliable phone and internet service. It is essential to take proactive steps immediately to ensure rural Texans have access to telework and essential services, such as remote learning and telemedicine.”

The Texas Universal Service Fund (USF) was created by the Texas Legislature in 1987 to assist telecommunications providers in providing basic local telecommunications service at reasonable rates in high cost rural areas. Earlier this year, officials were informed the fund could become insolvent as soon as January, 2021.

“This is an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone,” Landgraf said. “The legislature is being forced into action because the fund is running out of money, but part of the problem is that the USF can’t be used for broadband. It’s time to take a fresh look at the statute, get the USF solvent and ensure it can be used to provide broadband access in the rural parts of Texas.”

The Texas Legislature convenes for a 140-day regular session at the Texas Capitol in Austin on the second Tuesday in January of each odd-numbered year. The 87th Texas Legislative Session is set to begin on January 21, 2021.


Landgraf Discusses Texas Legislature with Grandfalls-Royalty ISD Board

GRANDFALLS — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) attended the meeting of the Grandfalls-Royalty ISD school board via conference call on Monday to discuss the upcoming session of the Texas Legislature and answer questions about the state's response to recent crises.

“I’m always impressed by the GRISD leadership,” Landgraf said. “Superintendent Starkweather knows what he’s doing, and the board obviously cares deeply about their students and faculty.”

Landgraf, who represents Ward County in the Texas House of Representatives, met with the school board to offer any assistance the city may need from the state.

“The next generation of West Texans deserve the best education possible, regardless of what happens with COVID-19,” Landgraf continued. “My message to the board was that I’m here to do whatever I can to ensure the district has the resources it needs from the state to educate students during this unprecedented school year."

Landgraf is attending this and other local government meetings across the Permian Basin to keep locals informed about actions to combat the coronavirus and prepare for the next session of the Texas Legislature, which convenes at the Texas Capitol in January 2021.


Landgraf Pledges Support for Law Enforcement

ODESSA — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) joined Governor Greg Abbott in signing the “Texas Backs the Blue Pledge” to oppose efforts to defund Texas police departments. Governor Abbott is calling on all Texans to sign the pledge against defunding police departments.

“The men and women who risk everything to protect and serve deserve our respect and gratitude,” Landgraf said. “It is without hesitation that I pledge to oppose any attempt to defund law enforcement in Texas.”

“If adequate resources are not provided to enforce the rule of law in Texas, not only will people’s lives be in danger, but the government will have failed to fulfill one of its most basic responsibilities,” Landgraf said. “I’m thankful for Governor Abbott’s leadership on this important issue,” he added.

 


Landgraf: $2.5 Billion Tabbed for Permian Basin Roads

AUSTIN — The Texas Transportation Commissioners, led by Chairman Bruce Bugg, voted unanimously Thursday to approve $2.5 billion in funding for transportation projects in the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) Odessa district over the next decade. State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) was in Austin to advocate for the plan.

"I'm thankful to the Chairman Bugg and the rest of the commissioners for continuing to prioritize transportation infrastructure in the Permian Basin," Landgraf said. "The 2021 UTP funding distribution of $2.5 billion represents a new high-water mark for the Odessa TxDOT District and we continue to build on our momentum to have safer roads in West Texas."

Every year, the Texas Transportation Commission updates and approves the Unified Transportation Program (UTP).

The UTP is TxDOT’s 10-year plan that guides the development of transportation projects across the state. The 2021 UTP includes funding to completely rebuild I-20, build and improve intersections on Loop 338, as well as widen US 385 and SH 115, among others.

"The projects listed in the UTP will drastically improve safety for motorists across West Texas, and will help improve the efficiency with which products from the Permian Basin get to market." Landgraf continued. "This is a win for all Texans, and I want to be sure to thank all of the constituents who joined me in fighting for these live-saving transportation dollars."


Landgraf Participates in Winkler County Hospital District Board Meeting

KERMIT — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) participated in the Winkler County Hospital District board of directors meeting on Tuesday to discuss the local and statewide response to the COVID-19 pandemic and answer questions from the board members regarding the upcoming 2021 Texas Legislative Session.

“I appreciate President Sims and CEO Serrano for allowing me to speak today,“ Landgraf said. “My goal is to make sure Winkler County has the necessary state resources to continue the fight against COVID-19."

Landgraf, who represents Winkler County in the Texas House of Representatives, met with the board to offer any assistance the hospital may need from the state.

“The can-do attitude of folks in Winkler County always impresses me.” Landgraf continued. "Winkler County residents and business owners have every reason to be confident in their local leaders' ability to keep them safe and working."

Landgraf is attending this and other local government meetings across the Permian Basin to keep locals informed about actions to combat the coronavirus and prepare for the next session of the Texas Legislature, which convenes at the Texas Capitol in January 2021.


Landgraf Discusses Texas Legislature with Ward Memorial Hospital Board

MONAHANS — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) participated in the Ward Memorial Hospital board meeting on Thursday to discuss the local and statewide response to the COVID-19 pandemic and answer questions from the board members regarding the upcoming 2021 Texas Legislative Session.

“I had a great discussion with Chairman Fausett and the rest of the board members," Landgraf said. "Hospitals, especially rural hospitals, are facing significant challenges right now, and I'm impressed with how Ward Memorial is rising to the challenge."

Landgraf, who represents Ward County in the Texas House of Representatives, met with the board members to offer any assistance the hospital may need from the state.

“It's important for me to hear from the boots on the ground, now more than ever,” Landgraf continued. “I want to be sure the hospital has all of the state resources it needs to respond to the ongoing health crisis.”

Landgraf is attending this and other local government meetings across the Permian Basin to keep locals informed about actions to combat the coronavirus and prepare for the next session of the Texas Legislature, which convenes at the Texas Capitol in January 2021.


Landgraf Takes Part in Wickett City Council Meeting

WICKETT — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) joined Mayor Xavier Estrada and the Wickett City Council on a conference call on Wednesday to discuss the local and statewide response to the COVID-19 pandemic and answer questions from the mayor and council members

“We had an excellent discussion about real problems facing the community during this difficult time,” Landgraf said. “It is obvious that Mayor Estrada and the council members care deeply about the residents of Wickett, and I appreciate their thoughtful and deliberate service to the community.”

Landgraf, who represents Ward County in the Texas House of Representatives, met with the city council to offer any assistance the city may need from the state.

“I wanted to be sure the city knows that I am here to help however I can,” Landgraf continued. “Whether it is addressing safety concerns on our state highways, ensuring that schools have what they need for this incredibly unique upcoming school year, or anything in between.”

Landgraf is attending this and other local government meetings across the Permian Basin to keep locals informed about actions to combat the coronavirus and prepare for the next session of the Texas Legislature, which convenes at the Texas Capitol in January 2021.