Representative Cohen Responds to the Judge's Ruling on HB1751

Mar. 31, 2008 in Press Releases

Representative Ellen Cohen held a press conference today issuing a
statement regarding Judge Jenkins’ ruling on House Bill 1751, otherwise known as the
Adult Entertainment Fee. Joining Representative Cohen was Mica Mosbacher,
fundraiser, wife of former Secretary of Commerce Robert Mosbacher and U of H Regent,
and Kelly Young, Vice-President of the Houston Area Women’s Center.

“While we are discouraged by Judge Jenkins verdict, we are not disheartened and we are
determined to move forward,” said Representative Cohen. In the 2007 legislative
session, the Governor and the Legislature provided overwhelming support for the Adult
Entertainment Fee. Representative Cohen will work with her colleagues, the Attorney
General and Comptroller of Public Accounts to refine HB 1751 in the next Legislative
session.

In her remarks, Representative Cohen invited sexual assault advocates and hospitals to
continue their support of this legislation and extended an invitation to the sexually
oriented business industry to step forward and work with her towards a solution to the
lack of sexual assault resources across the state.

Mrs. Mosbacher pointed out during her remarks that “54 of the 254 counties in Texas or
20% of the state do not have any resources for sexual assault victims.” Representative
Cohen said the lack of resources is one of the primary reasons she will be diligent in her
efforts to continue her work on HB 1751 in the next legislative session.

The intention of HB 1751 is to provide funding for rape crisis centers statewide, research
at the University of Texas at Austin Institute of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault,
prevention campaigns and equipment grants for sexual assault nurse examiners.

Ms. Young remarked that in her day-to-day work of providing resources for victim
survivors of sexual assault, “we can never do enough, because every sexual crime is one
too many and nearly 2 million adult Texans in our state have been sexually assaulted.
This type of funding is critical and gives hope to victim survivors.”

Representative Cohen added “What we must keep in mind is that we are talking about
people. We need funds to educate, provide medical services and support research. These
victim survivors deserve our best efforts and I promise them that we will do nothing
less.”