Members of the Blanco Woman’s Club’s legislative committee—Dean Myane, Millie Jones, Barbara Hinze, Charlene Pace, and Tina Gourley—presented the program for the year’s first meeting on October 9 at the Blanco Library.
Attorney Shannon Edmonds of the Texas District and County Attorneys’ Association described the chain of events beginning with the abduction, rape, and murder of Jessica Lunsford, a 9-year-old Florida girl, and ending with a law designed to actually convict child predators and send them away without jury-recommended probation.
The organization works to inform legislators on the consequences of the laws they pass, in some cases “saving them from themselves,” Edmonds explained.
According to Edmonds, 92 bills were filed to address the issue of sex offenders in the wake of the tragedy, many of them “bunk” in his words, because they were so punitive that a victim would hesitate to press charges against a rapist who might be a family member or, in the case of a teen, an acquaintance only a few years older. Edmonds called the final version, House Bill 8, “a success story” because of its increased flexibility, discretion, and punishment options.
In other business, the club welcomed guests Tina Gourley, Charlene Pace, and Lynne Loeffler. New members included Elizabeth Higginbotham, Gourley, and Pace.
President Bonnie Holmes gave a short presentation on the language of the “hanky,” having asked all members to bring a handkerchief to the meeting.
Hostesses Deena Gardner, Janey Payne, and Mary Nabors served refreshments of chicken salad croissants, assorted cookies, cheeses and crackers, along with a citrus punch.
Table decorations included a centerpiece of Indian corn, gourds, and a basket of yellow wildflowers and grasses.
The November 12 meeting will feature Mary Alice Partain, interpretive ranger at Blanco State Park, who will speak on “What’s Going On at the State Park.”