88th #TXLege Update

Today, March 1, hundreds of CASA advocates from all over the state are making their voices heard at CASA Day at the Capitol!

For this event, CASA volunteers, staff, board members and volunteers meet with their legislative officials to spread the word about CASA and to raise awareness about challenges facing the child welfare system. This opportunity is for local CASA programs to interact directly with their legislators at the state Capitol in order to support Texas CASA’s funding and legislative priorities and to amplify CASA’s importance as a key participant in the child welfare system.

Check out our 88th Session Legislative Priorities to see what CASA Day at the Capitol attendees are advocating for. You can also bookmark the Texas CASA Bill Tracker for the 88th Legislative Session to follow our Champion Bills, High Priority Bills and other important bills related to the CASA network and child welfare during the session.

The deadline for bill filing for this legislative session is March 10, but our work will continue far beyond that deadline. Once all of the bills are filed, the Public Policy team will monitor the relevant committee hearings and floor debates related to those bills. We will let you know as bills move and how local CASA Legislative Advocacy Teams (LATs) can help to provide information when it comes time for important votes. We can’t predict how fast or slow anything will move, but we will give you timely updates as they happen from March 10 – May 29.  We will also provide a session wrap-up once it ends and after the signing period is over, in case a bill passed that is relevant to us, but then was later vetoed.

Regular legislative sessions last for 140 days—which means this session will end on May 29, 2023 (sine die). After that, the Governor has 20 days to sign, veto or let bills be filed without signature—which means that they pass, but he didn’t sign them. Typically, there is a statement issued by the Governor that corresponds with every veto and bill filed without signature. In addition, the Governor has the power to call Special Sessions, each of which can last up to 30 days.

Over the course of the rest of the session, Texas CASA’s Public Policy team will keep you updated on the progress of child welfare-related legislation, including our Champion Bills. You can also always email the them at publicpolicy@texascasa.org if you have any questions about specific bills, including those that are not included on our bill tracker.

Thank you for your support! Together, we’re making a positive difference for children and families at the statewide level!