State Senator Bob Deuell wasted no time in making good on a campaign pledge to file a bill calling for the creation of a Jessica’s Law statute in Texas.

Deuell filed Senate Bill 68 Monday, the first day bills could be pre-filed for the 80th regular session of the Texas Legislature which begins in January. Deuell won re-election to State Senate District 2 one week ago today.

Senate Bill 68 which relates to the prosecution, punishment, and supervision of sex offenders. The measure is referred to as Jessica’s Law in honor of Jessica Lunsford, a child in Florida who was raped and murdered by a previously convicted sex offender in 2005.

Deuell said the bill would stiffen the potential punishments which child predators could face if convicted.

“We didn’t think two years or whatever it is now was enough,” Deuell said. “We just think these people are getting off too easily for aggravated sexual assault and I’m just tired of it. I’m tired of it as a legislator, I’m tired of it as a family physician and I’m tired of it as a parent.”

The law, which would be a comprehensive sex offender punishment and control reform, would provide mandatory minimum sentences of 25 years, lifetime monitoring of those convicted for sex crimes against a victim under the age of 14, increased penalties for multiple offenses, and an increase in the statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases.

Deuell also said he looks forward to support from his fellow legislators in the Senate and House.

“This is a measure I hope we can all agree on,” Deuell said. “I would hope that every member would be willing to file this bill and work to see it passed.”

When contacted Monday, Deuell was headed back down to Austin for committee meetings, but plans to return to the district later this week. Deuell said he was hosting a forum in Dallas Thursday regarding the need for Medicaid reforms in Texas.

“The governor had asked me to look at what other states were doing and what we were doing,” Deuell said. His investigation led him to attend the National Medicaid Congress in Washington D.C.

Deuell said he has invited several of the speakers at that event to come to Dallas and pass the information along. He had expected about 50 people to attend the forum, but is now having to turn away those who wished to listen in.

Deuell said Medicaid is one of the most important issues lawmakers will face in the coming session.

“It’s 26 percent of our budget and growing and we just can’t support that,” Deuell said.

The majority of those on Medicaid receive benefits for long term or disabled care, reducing the amount available for children.

“It is an incredibly complex issue, but we’ve got to deal with it,” Deuell said.