LUBBOCK, Texas– Three years ago, Holli Jeffcoat was murdered by her stepfather. This week, her family said her legacy will live on thanks to a bill passed by the Texas legislature.
SB 194, or ‘Holli’s Bill’ passed with a unanimous vote by the House last week. It still requires a signature from Governor Abbott before the legislative sesson ends in order to become law.
“Thousands of people need to know where they can go and this bill, once complete, they are going to have that,” said Sherrie Ray, Holli Jeffcoat’s grandmother.
The bill seeks to establish a legal definition for sexual assault on all levels, provide support for survivors of sexual assault, and increase punishment for offenders.
Stets Bryant, the author of the bill’s original draft said their work is just getting started.
“The bill that was filed only covers a fraction of what was drafted,” said Bryant.
Bryant was told it could take upward of three sessions to have the entirety of the draft passed.
“There needs to be more from a nonlegal perspective as far as advocacy goes,” said Bryant.
Ray also wants to see more awareness brought to schools about addressing sexual assault.
However, they said the first step is watching Governor Abbott sign the bill into law by the end of the legislative session.
“I know she’s watching, I can feel it,” said Ray.