Recently, we have been celebrating the parental rights bills the Texas Legislature passed, which the Governor signed into law to protect Texas families.
However, not every priority of the Family Freedom Project became law.
Here are 2 priorities that did not pass the legislature that we will continue to work on in the future:
- HB 1086: HB 1086 would limit the use of ex-parte hearings by CPS to force parents to allow CPS access to the home passed the House by a vote of 131-7 but failed to have a hearing in the Senate. This critical issue will be raised again. HB 1086 bill ensures that aid of investigation is only issued if the court is presented with probable cause that an order is necessary to protect a child. It protects families from unnecessary breaches of their parental rights, specifically the right to refuse the release of private documents and the right to deny access to their children. When determining whether to issue an aid of investigation, this bill requires courts to use the standard of “probable cause” rather than the current standard of “good cause.” This changes the terminology from a subjective standard to a clearly defined one, making it harder to abuse or misuse.
- HB 1667: HB 1667 would clarify who is required to file allegations of abuse or neglect with CPS and that such reports are not required because of the child’s behavior, truancy, or conditions of poverty. The bill clarifies that these types of conditions do not have to be reported to CPS and, instead, allows professionals to refer families experiencing these conditions to community-based service providers. The bill passed the House by a 123-14 and was passed out of the Senate Committee but did not receive a Senate vote. This critical measure, too, will be filed again.
These are just a few examples of important issues that did not make it to the finish line and why it is important for organizations like FFP to continue to work hard to Keep Texas Families Free!
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