Governor Rick Perry signed the bill establishing the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission on June 19, 2009. The legislation will be effective on September 1, 2009.
SB 382, authored by Senator Rodney Ellis and Senator Florence Shapiro and sponsored in the House by Rep. Warren Chisum and Rep. Ellen Cohen, sought to ensure broader and deeper understanding regarding the Holocaust and other genocides of the 20th century. The Commission’s 18 members will be required to meet quarterly and provide advice and assistance to the public and various public and private primary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education on the implementation of courses and programs.
Upon hearing of the Governor’s signature, Rep. Cohen said, “I am extremely grateful to Rep. Chisum, Sen. Ellis and Sen. Shapiro for all they did to ensure that the bill creating the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission passed both the House and Senate. I’m also particularly appreciative that the Governor saw the need for such a commission. With the education and awareness these efforts will bring, perhaps we can look forward to a day when acts of such unspeakable horror are a part of history, never to be repeated.”