Things are well underway in the 88th Texas legislative session, and we are hard at work! Our legislative team has now been in Austin for two months, monitoring legislation and working with the legislature to amend and promote legislation that protects freedom for all Texas families.
This session, the Family Freedom Project is championing two critical pieces of legislation: the CPS Omnibus Bill and the Parental Rights amendment to the Texas Constitution. We are excited to be making great strides on both of these issues.
CPS Omnibus Bill:
At the beginning of the legislative session, Representative James Frank filed HB 730, a CPS omnibus bill that packages together several measures into one bill. The Family Freedom Project (FFP) is championing this bill because it would enforce greater accountability standards on CPS.
On February 28th, HB 730 was referred to the Juvenile Justice & Family Issues committee. Once the committee has heard and voted on HB 730, the bill can be put on the House calendar to be debated and voted on the House floor.
Thousands of children are protected by CPS from terrible atrocities. But, when CPS works without accountability, they cause harm to children by removing them from safe families without a need. The measures presented in HB 730 help protect and preserve family rights in Texas and ensure all families are respected within CPS.
Parental Rights Amendment:
Representative Dustin Burrows filed HJR 85, which would amend the Texas Constitution. A parental rights amendment is the best way to ensure parental rights are protected for future generations. Right now, the rights of Texas parents rest almost entirely in the hands of unelected federal judges, who come and go regularly and could change their minds on parental rights at any time. Last week, HJR 85 was referred to the State Affairs Committee in the Texas House. In the Texas Senate, Senator Bryan Hughes has filed the same constitutional amendment, titled SJR 70
Other Legislative Efforts:
Our legislative team also provided testimony on HB 63, which reforms the process by which CPS reports are made. According to current laws relating to reporting child abuse to CPS, the reporting person is not obligated to submit their name and contact information. However, HB 63 will require that the individual who files a report of child abuse with CPS must provide their name and contact information. This ensures that if a person files a false CPS report (which is a crime), they can be held accountable for that.
Apart from these legislative priorities, our team continues to keep a laser focus on any legislation that could affect Texan’s parental rights. We believe that families should always come first. That’s why our team is committed to ensuring all proposed legislation keeps parental rights intact.
Stay tuned to all that our team will do this legislative session by subscribing to the FFP newsletter and following on social media as we continue Keeping Texas Families Free!