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How our legislative & public policy leadership is inspiring positive change in the child welfare system. Below you will find all of the latest Capitol Beat stories – to browse other categories, return to The CASA Voice home page or use the navigation list in the right column.

Be sure to keep informed of the latest state and national child welfare news coverage on the News Clips of Interest page!

Senate Bill 11 Passes Out of Committee Unanimously

On Wednesday, Feb. 22, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee met to hear the second committee substitute for Senate Bill 11 , which was passed unanimously shortly after the substitute was laid out. Texas CASA is supporting the bill, which contains numerous important reforms, including a section to consolidate all abuse and neglect investigations under CPS… Read more »

CASA Day at the Capitol 2017 Is a Huge Success

On Feb. 16, representatives from more than 40 of the 72 local CASA programs across the state traveled to Austin for CASA Day at the Capitol, the one day each legislative session that the CASA community comes together to bring attention to improving outcomes for children and youth in foster care. More than 300 CASA… Read more »

Major CPS Reform Bills Already Filed & Being Considered

Major CPS reform bills have been filed in both the House and the Senate, and the Senate Health and Human Services Committee held its first hearing to consider SB 11. In the House, Rep. James Frank of Wichita Falls filed HB 5 and HB 6 on Friday, Feb. 10. HB 5 separates DFPS from the… Read more »

Bill Tracker: Child Protection-Related Legislation Plentiful

Texas CASA’s review of legislation indicates that more than 300 bills have been filed in the House and Senate that relate to child protection – and the bill filing deadline is not until March 10. Please make use of the Texas CASA bill tracker to understand and follow the most relevant legislation and to see our… Read more »

Speaker Straus Appoints House Committees

On Thursday, Feb. 9, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus announced the leadership and membership of the 40 House committees for the 85th Legislative Session. See this Texas Tribune article for more details, and a link to the full committee list at the bottom of the article. Of particular interest to CASA are the appointments of Rep…. Read more »

With the 85th Legislative Session Underway, Texas CASA Unveils Online Bill Tracker

On Jan. 10, 2017, the Texas Legislature convened to work for Texans young and old, which means Texas CASA is also working hard to promote important child welfare initiatives. You can now access our online 85th Legislature Bill Tracker to find information regarding bills that we are committed to championing, bills that we consider high priority… Read more »

Budget Hearings Begin in Senate

The Texas Senate and the Finance Committee have already begun work on the Appropriations Bill for the next two-year state budget. Initial hearings for the Health & Human Services Commission (HHSC) and DFPS are scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 31. Texas CASA staff will be testifying on our funding priorities that include increasing state funding for… Read more »

Omnibus CPS Reform Bill: Senate Bill 11

Leading members in the Texas Senate have introduced Senate Bill 11, which is likely to be the omnibus CPS reform bill that comes out of the Senate this session. There are a number of significant provisions in SB 11 that Texas CASA supports, including our efforts to consolidate all abuse and neglect investigations under CPS…. Read more »

Judge Janis Jack Issues Interim Order Pushing Foster Care System Reform

Judge Janis Jack issued a Federal Court Interim Order on Jan. 9 that puts into effect, or requires additional study and planning for, many of the Special Masters’ recommendations to address and remedy the constitutional violations Judge Jack found in her December 2015 ruling. Taken together, these changes would require far-reaching changes to the CPS system. We… Read more »