SB 49 would improve housing protections for survivors and ensure that basic needs are met in their recovery

AUSTINGovernor Abbott signed SB 49 late Friday – after passing the legislature with bipartisan support – which improves support for crime victims and expands eligibility for the victim compensation program. SB 49 will ensure that victims compensation covers relocation costs for all survivors, increase caps on the amount of support a survivor can receive for relocation help and bereavement lost wages, and expand eligibility to household members of victims. The bill was sponsored by Senator Judith Zaffrini (D-Laredo) and Representative Mary Gonzalez (D-San Elizario), and has been supported by Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice. Kimberly Youngblood, the Texas state manager for CSSJ, released the following statement:  

“We cannot have true safety without protecting crime survivors when they are most vulnerable. With the signing of SB 49, Texas has ensured that crime victims won’t have to choose between their own safety and their livelihoods. 

When victims lack support as they try to recover or mourn, they are more likely to be revictimized and have their lives destabilized – which makes us all less safe. SB 49 helps to put an end to cycles of trauma and strengthens Texas as we seek safer communities.  

We thank Senator Judith Zaffirini and Representative Mary Gonzales for being our champions in this effort, and we thank the governor for signing SB 49 into law.”  

The full text of the bill can be read here.

About the Alliance for Safety and Justice

The Alliance for Safety and Justice is a national organization that aims to win evidence-based new safety priorities in states across the country. It also brings together diverse crime survivors to advance policies that help communities most harmed by crime and violence, as part of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice – its national network of over 100,000 crime survivors with thousands of members in Texas. For more information, visit: https://allianceforsafetyandjustice.org or https://cssj.org.