Buckingham praises Senate work during first two months

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor The Highlander

State Sen. Dr. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway, praised the work of the Texas Senate during her first two months in office in a video statement released Friday morning on her Senate website. “As I near the end of my second month in office, I want you to know I've been working hard every day on your behalf to make our state stronger,” Buckingham said. “I am proud to report the Texas Senate has moved quickly to pass Gov. Greg Abbott's emergency items for 2017, each of which I have co-authored. These bills are Senate Bill 4, to prohibit sanctuary city policies; Senate Bill 11, to substantially reform the way our state manages its foster care system; Senate Bill 14 to strengthen ethics laws; and Senate Bill 21, relating to Texas participating in a convention of states.” Senate Bill 4 was drafted in response to a policy implemented by Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez to require a warrant from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in order to detain non-violent offenders who do not have legal immigration status. Buckingham, who represents 17 Texas counties, including Burnet County and parts of Travis County, has called on Hernandez to honor all federal immigration detainer requests. “I want a safe Travis County and a safe Texas. It's time to do the right thing,” Buckingham said last month. “The Senate has acted quickly to pass Senate Bill 4, but this legislation will take some time to work its way through the legislative process. That is why we are calling on the Travis County Sheriff, once again, to immediately honor all ICE detainers and rescind this sanctuary policy.” Buckingham also noted in her address to her constituents the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, of which she is a member, “has passed a series of bills to protect the sanctity of life.” “These bills outlaw the sale of fetal tissue, require fetal remains to be buried or cremated and ban partial-birth abortions,” Buckingham said. “I expect the full Senate to soon pass these important bills.” The freshman senator said she is author or co-author of 50 pieces of legislation, “reaching across the aisle, working with Democrats and Republicans alike to make Texas a better place.” Among these is Senate Bill 986, which she authored with state Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, to create the Enforcement of Immigration Law Grant Program in governor's office. “Senate Bill 986 supports Texas municipalities and counties who incur costs related to enforcing immigration laws and complying with, honoring, or fulfilling any immigration detainer request. (The bill) directs the criminal justice division within the Office of the Governor to establish and administer a competitive grant program to provide financial assistance to local entities,” she said. “I view Senate Bill 986 as a complimentary piece of legislation to Senate Bill 4, as we all bear the costs of an unsecured border, and until the federal government upholds its responsibility of securing our border, Texas must continue to step up to protect its citizens.”

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