The measure, known as the Botham Jean Act, now goes to the Senate.
North Texas Democratic State Representative Carl Sherman Sr. got the legislation across the initial finish line before a midnight deadline to get House bills passed.
It requires law enforcement officers equipped with body-warn cameras to keep them activated the entire time they’re taking part in investigations and it limits the times they can stop the recordings.
While there was bipartisan support, lawmakers on both sides of the issue debated the measure.
But Republican Matt Schaefer of Tyler expressed concern. “The language in this bill I think creates a duty upon our officers that is open-ended and is not the clarity we need and for those reasons, I will be opposing the bill.”
The bill is named after Botham Jean, who was shot and killed in Dallas by off-duty police officer Amber Guyger three years ago.
Representative Sherman said he worked with law enforcement on the legislation. “It was important that we have the Texas Association of Sheriffs actually draft this piece of legislation with us. It’s important that we create systemic accountability in policing.”
Two bills that have generated controversy are making their way through the legislature as well. After the House made amendments to an elections security bill, it will go back to the Senate, which will either accept the changes or lawmakers from both chambers will have to hash out their differences.
The House and Senate are now negotiating differences in their respective permit-less carry bills that would allow law-abiding Texans to carry handguns without a required license or training.
In tweets, both the Lt. Governor and Speaker of the House vowed to get the bill to the Governor.