Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bail bill into law Monday requiring people accused of violent crimes to pay cash to get out of jail.

Senate Bill 6, dubbed “the Damon Allen Act” in honor of slain State Trooper Damon Allen, bars a person from being released on a personal recognizance bond — a no-cash bond — if charged with certain crimes. Those include violent or sexual crimes, or committing an offense while already out on bond.

The law would also create a statewide system to provide criminal history information to any judge considering bail.

“The Damon Allen Act makes it harder for dangerous criminals to be released from jail on bail,” Abbott said at the Houston bill-signing ceremony Monday.

“The Damon Allen Act makes it harder for dangerous criminals to be released from jail on bail,” Abbott said at the Houston bill-signing ceremony Monday.

Allen was killed during a 2017 traffic stop. The man accused of killing Allen was released from jail on bond.

However, it’s not clear the law named after the fallen trooper would have prevented his death: The person accused of killing him paid a $15,500 cash bond to be released, something that remains possible under the new law.

Opponents of the bill argue prohibiting people accused of violent crimes from being released on no-cost personal bonds will disproportionately affect low-income individuals, because those with means to pay will still be able to get out.

In a statement, the nonprofit Bail Project called the bill an “assault” on the rights of people who haven’t been convicted of any crime, and accused lawmakers of designing the new law to enrich bail bondsmen.

“Senate Bill 6 fails to advance public safety,” the statement read. “Instead, it expands cash bail to the benefit of the bail bond industry while ensuring that more people will be held in jail before being convicted of a crime because of poverty.”

Bail legislation was chosen as a priority item by Abbott ahead of the 2021 regular legislative session. The bill was initially stalled in July after state Democrats broke quorum and left for Washington D.C. over voting legislation. It was revived in subsequent special sessions, and passed both chambers in August.

Proponents of the bill say it’s a response to rising crime and a reaction to bail policies put in practice in areas like Harris County.

In 2017, a federal judge found the county’s use of cash bail for misdemeanor offenses unconstitutionally discriminated against the poor. Harris County responded by eliminating cash bail for most people accused of low-level crimes.

There are currently no bail reform policies in place for felonies, though a similar federal suit addressing felony bail is ongoing.

The bill’s supporters — like Brett Tolman, executive director of the conservative-leaning group Right on Crime — praised the new law Monday.

“Texas has a reputation as a national model for improving public safety through effective criminal justice reform, and pretrial reform is no different,” read a statement from Tolman.