Governor Abbott Vetoes Senate Bill 130
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Pursuant to Article IV, Section 14, of the Texas Constitution, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, do hereby disapprove of and veto Senate Bill No. 130 as passed by the Eighty-Fourth Texas Legislature, Regular Session, because of the following objections:
After convicted criminals complete their sentences and repay their debts to society, their criminal records do not disappear. The reality for some individuals who have been charged with relatively minor crimes is that their records can follow them forever, making it difficult for them to find employment and reintegrate into society. That is why I previously signed into law Senate Bill 1902, which authorizes courts in limited circumstances to seal the records of certain first-time misdemeanor offenders, to ensure that a minor criminal record is not a road block to an individual becoming a productive member of society even decades later. But the State's interest in reintegrating one-time, petty offenders must be balanced with an employer's right to know what they are getting when they make a hire. Senate Bill 130 goes too far because it would permit individuals who have committed even serious felonies (including crimes like manslaughter, arson, enticing of a child, and improper photography of a minor) to hide their heinous acts from employers. And it places no limits on the number of times repeat offenders can attempt to erase their past.
Since the Eighty-Fourth Texas Legislature, Regular Session, by its adjournment has prevented the return of this bill, I am filing these objections in the office of the Secretary of State and giving notice thereof by this public proclamation according to the aforementioned constitutional provision.
View a PDF of the veto here