Cook co-authors bill to help active-duty Texas military

January 12, 2023
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On Tuesday, State Representative David Cook joint authored HB 90, the "Bishop Evans Act." On April 25, 2022, Texas National Guard Sergeant Bishop E. Evans tragically drowned after jumping into the Rio Grande River to attempt to save two migrants. Evans had previously been deployed by the National Guard to hurricane response efforts and a yearlong mission in Kuwait, Iraq, under Operation Spartan Shield before serving on Texas' southern border.

Unfortunately, Evans' family was not entitled to receive a line-of-duty death benefit due to a discrepancy in current law related to his state-active duty status. HB 90 would authorize a death penalty lump sum payment of $500,000 for surviving families, clarify uncertainty related to workers' compensation benefits, accelerate disputes for guardsmen related to workplace injuries, and include PTSD workers' compensation coverage for all active-duty status Texas military servicemembers.

"While no amount of money can fill the void left by the loss of Sergeant Evans, the State of Texas has a duty to honor his service and sacrifice by closing this gap in the law related to death benefits that his family should be entitled to. 'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. - John 15:13'," Cook said.

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