The Texas Public Policy Foundation applauds Governor Abbott for signing House Bill 569 into law. Inspired by a south Dallas urban farm and market, the “Bonton Farms Act” will help reduce in–court costs and fines that often follow the formerly incarcerated—removing a significant barrier to successful reentry for former inmates.

Often, individuals are released from confinement and discover they have accumulated thousands of dollars’ worth of fines and fees while incarcerated due to previous misdemeanors that occurred prior to their incarceration. HB 569 will help alleviate this costly burden by allowing an individual’s time served to act as a credit for resolving any low-level fines and fees that may exist.

“This legislation is a great example of ways we can empower individuals reentering their communities to achieve the independence and self-sufficiency they desire,” said Nikki Pressley, Texas State Director for Right on Crime. “Following an overwhelming amount of bipartisan support during the legislative session, Governor Abbott’s stamp of approval reinforces that Texas is eager to support reentry models that have proven to be successful.”

HB 569 was filed by conservative Representative Scott Sanford and was included in Speaker Dade Phelan’s “Smarter Justice, Safer Texas” bill package. The Bonton Farms Act will take effect September 1, 2021.