State Senator Brandon Creighton, a Republican from Texas, has been a key figure in the state's criminal justice reform efforts. He has been a vocal advocate for increasing penalties for those who commit crimes with firearms and for instituting a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years for those who do so. He has also supported legislation to create a rural fund to enforce the law and to establish penalties for people on parole who “cut off their ankle monitors.” In addition, Creighton has been involved in other legislative efforts, such as introducing Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick at the Capitol during the inauguration ceremonies of the governor and lieutenant governor last week. He has also been a proponent of increasing access to mental health care throughout the state, with an emphasis on rural Texas.
To achieve these goals, legislation will need to be approved by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, Republican from Brenham, will chair the Senate Health and Human Services Committee along with Sen. Charles Perry, Republican from Lubbock, who serves as vice president. Perry will also chair the Water, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Commission along with Sen.
Kelly Hancock, Democrat from Dallas, as vice president. Hancock will head the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, with first-year Republican senator Flower Mound's Tan Parker as Vice President. One of the most important pieces of criminal justice reform legislation that Creighton has voted on is Bryan Hughes' bill that raised the penalty for voting illegally from a misdemeanor to a second-degree felony. The Hughes bill also changes existing legal wording to what is known as the “intent requirement.” This law states that a person commits a crime if they “vote or attempt to vote knowingly or intentionally in an election in which the person “knows that they are ineligible to vote.” The Hughes legislation would change that language to include anyone who votes or attempts to vote in an election where “the person is aware of a particular circumstance that renders the person ineligible to vote.”Creighton voted against Senate Bill 1601 which would have banned libraries from receiving public money the year following any event where transvestite artists read to children. He also voted against Senate Bill 19 which allocates billions to establish the Texas University Fund (TUF).
He voted in favor of House Bill 5 which would create a new state economic development program to keep Texas competitive. Creighton has also been vocal about his opposition to House Bill 1243 which was quickly removed from the House of Representatives chamber; it was examined in the Senate State Affairs Committee and is pending a vote. This bill reflects Senate Bill 2 which passed this weekend and was sponsored by Hughes in the Senate House of Representatives. Criminal justice reform advocates have praised Creighton's efforts in supporting criminal justice reform legislation while gun advocates have expressed concern about his support for bills that could lead to harsher penalties for gun owners who use their weapons in self-defense. Overall, Senator Brandon Creighton has been an active participant in criminal justice reform efforts in Texas and his votes reflect his commitment to making sure that all Texans are treated fairly under the law.