Governor Abbott Vetoes SB 237 (87R)

June 21, 2021 | Austin, Texas | Legislative Statement

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. 237 as passed by the Eighty-Seventh Texas Legislature, Regular Session, because of the following objections:  

Senate Bill 237 would add criminal trespass to the list of offenses for which law enforcement can “cite and release” instead of arrest an intruder.  I appreciate the good intentions of the bill’s author and supporters, but it would allow (and tempt) agencies to categorically mandate cite-and-release for this crime, taking away an important tool for officers to keep Texans safe.  It would have a particularly troubling impact in the City of Austin, where local voters recently condemned the City’s self-inflicted homelessness crisis, because businesses and homeowners count on criminal-trespass arrests to protect themselves and their guests from homeless people who refuse to leave their property. It would also contravene the State’s goal of maintaining law and order in communities along the border.  

Since the Eighty-Seventh 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.  

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have signed my name officially and caused the Seal of the State to be affixed hereto at Austin, this 18th day of June, 2021.  

Governor of Texas

View the veto proclamation.