Pursuant to Article IV, Section 14, of the Texas Constitution, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, do hereby disapprove of and veto House Bill No. 686 as passed by the Eighty-Seventh Texas Legislature, Regular Session, because of the following objections:
The author of House Bill 686 is to be commended for aiming to provide opportunities for the young offender population. The bill, which addresses parole eligibility for juvenile offenders, admirably recognizes the potential for change and encourages rehabilitation and productiveness in the young offender population. As written, though, the bill’s language conflicts with jury instructions required by the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, which would result in confusion and needless, disruptive litigation. And the bill would cause disparate results in parole eligibility for juvenile offenders by failing to account for all circumstances in Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 42A.054. Further changes to address these issues will allow for meaningful reform on this important matter, and I look forward to working with the House author to accomplish that goal.
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