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Texans to Sen. Cruz: Support FIRST STEP Act

Nov 27, 2018 by AFP

Grassroots group urges Sen. Cruz to support bipartisan prison reform legislation

AUSTIN, Texas. ­– Americans for Prosperity-Texas (AFP-Texas) launched a targeted digital ad campaign today urging Senator Ted Cruz to support bipartisan prison and sentencing reform legislation known as the FIRST STEP Act. Texans overwhelmingly support the bill, which President Trump endorsed, and want to see the Senate pass this vital legislation quickly.

“The FIRST STEP Act is a crucial step toward fixing our broken criminal justice system and preparing individuals, who have paid their debt to society, to re-enter our communities with dignity and purpose,” said Sam Sheetz, Policy Director at AFP-Texas. “Senator Cruz previously supported many of the sentencing changes that are in FIRST STEP, so we know he agrees with the need to provide deserving individuals a second chance. The FIRST STEP Act builds on what’s been shown to be true here in Texas: the way to increase public safety is by being smart on crime and soft on taxpayers through evidence-based rehabilitation practices. On behalf of thousands of Texans, we urge Senator Cruz to support this legislation.”

Background: 

  • Senator Cruz co-sponsored legislation in 2015 that included a handful of provisions that are in the FIRST STEP Act. These provisions would reduce harsh mandatory minimum sentences for repeat drug offenders, widen the “safety valve” that allows judges to issue more proportional sentences to some low-level, nonviolent drug offenders, and retroactively apply the Fair Sentencing Act, which Congress approved nearly unanimously in 2010.
  • Since embarking on criminal justice reform over a decade ago, Texas has closed eight prisons, saved over $3B in taxpayer dollars, and reduced crime to levels not seen since the 1960’s.
  • In July, Americans for Prosperity-Texas announced the results of a new surveyshowing broad, bipartisan support for the FIRST STEP Act.
    • The survey showed 71 percent of likely Texas voters want the Senate to pass FIRST STEP.