One of the most important roles that our government plays, from the smallest City Council all the way to the White House and the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., is the protection of its people from harm. We have laws in place to protect our citizens from physical crimes, such as murder, assault, and rape. And our government also works to defend those who have been the victim of those crimes which leave no physical mark, such as defamation and robbery. The role of our state and federal legislators to adopt protective measures is heightened when discussing those who are least capable of speaking out in their own defense. One bill that was passed unanimously in the Texas House Human Services Committee yesterday hopes to improve on our state’s ability to help one such group of Texans.
The bill, which was proposed by Rep. Patrick Rose, would install greater protection from abuse for residents who are enrolled in one of our state schools for the disabled. The measure would establish a state school ombudsman and a toll-free abuse hotline, as well as set up video surveillance cameras in each of the thirteen schools. In addition, this legislation would require more intense training of care workers, protect employees who report abusive colleagues, and increase the state penalty for failing to report mistreatment. The measure has been designated as emergency legislation, and has received full support from Governor Rick Perry. With this tag of urgency, we can expect that the full House will be addressing the details of this bill shortly.
At Bertolino LLP, we understand that attorneys have an important obligation in protecting the legal rights of the citizens of Texas and to hold people accountable who do not follow the law. We have lawyers who are ready to assist you if you have a family member who has been mistreated in a school that services the disabled. Please contact our Austin, Houston, or San Antonio office today if you have any questions regarding your situation.

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