Before lawmakers even gaveled in Tuesday, Sen. Rodney Ellis was laying out Senate Bill 1292.
In an attempt to save the state years of costly appeals, the measure would require DNA testing of all biological evidence collected in a death penalty case, before the defendant goes on trial.
"I'm going to do as much as I can, as much as I can as a policymaker to make sure that mistakes don't happen," said Sen. Rodney Ellis, (D) Houston.
The Democrat from Houston has the support of the state's top prosecutor.
"It will lead to more swift, more certain justice for both the person accused of the crime and the families of the victims," said Greg Abbott, (R) Texas Attorney General.
The families of hit and run victims testified on SB 275 - which would make the charge of leaving the scene of a fatal accident equal to that of intoxication manslaughter.
Bart Griffin lost his daughter Courtney in May 2011, when Gabrielle Nestande hit her, then left the scene.
Nestande was recently sentenced to 10 years probation for the criminally negligent homicide conviction.
"This is just another step in our journey. We thought from the very beginning since Courtney was killed that the penalty or the punishment did not fit the crime," said Bart Griffin, Victim's Father.
Across the hall…
The Senate Public Ed Committee heard testimony on what a program - designed to train school safety workers and teachers to carry a concealed handgun on campus - would look like.
The head of the Department of Public Safety - Steve McCraw - told committee members the program would include 16-hours of additional training for current CHL holders - at a cost of $9 million for the biennium.
And on the senate floor, Sen. Craig Estes challenged the constitutional amendment Sen. Kevin Eltife proposed that would limit statewide officeholders to two consecutive terms.
Estes argued the limit should apply to officeholders in all three branches of government.
He was in the minority. The measure passed 28-3.
Eltife says - if the measure gets out of the House - voters will overwhelmingly approve of the change come November.