AUSTIN – Today the Texas Senate unanimously passed SJR 1, authored by Senator Donna Campbell and members of the San Antonio delegation.
Senate Joint Resolution 1 amends the state constitution to allow the legislature to honor the service of first responders killed or fatally injured in the line of duty by creating a property tax exemption on the residence homestead for surviving spouses. The enabling legislation, SB 15, was filed by the Dallas delegation in memory of this summer’s fallen officers and also passed unanimously.
“The heroes behind the badge are some of the most courageous men and women in our state. They first risk their lives every day to ensure Texans stay safe,” said Senator Campbell. “I am honored to carry and help pass bipartisan legislation to recognize the sacrifice of our first responders and show support for their families. I applaud my colleagues in the Senate for unanimously passing this resolution.”
Texas has lost more police officers in the line of duty than any other state. Over the past 150 years, 1,888 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty and 159 Texas firefighters have perished while serving since 1990. SJR 1 was one of five pieces of legislation passed by the Senate in support of law enforcement officers on Monday, an effort spearheaded by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.
“By removing the tax burden from the family of a fallen first responder, Texas is making a commitment to support the men and women who serve and protect our communities. For the San Antonio delegation to join the Dallas delegation to work on this issue together is truly extraordinary and demonstrates the momentum behind this legislation,” Senator Campbell stated.
SJR 1 was passed in memory of Detective Benjamin Marconi, a 20 year veteran of the SAPD. Detective Marconi lost his life while serving his community just three days before Thanksgiving in 2016.