The 88th Texas Legislative Session officially convenes on Jan. 10, 2023. Did you know that Texas CASA’s Public Policy team has already been hard at work for months beforehand—refining our legislative priorities, training the local CASA network and monitoring pre-filed bills?
The first day state legislators and legislators-elect could file bills for the 88th Legislature was Monday, Nov. 14, 2022. Already, at least 1,500 bills have been filed. So far, the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is tracking 100+ bills related to child welfare, and it’s likely that many more child welfare-related bills will be filed in the coming weeks. The deadline for bill filing is March 10, 2023—60 days after the session officially starts.
Regular legislative sessions last for 140 days—which means this session will end on May 29, 2023 (sine die). After that, the Governor has the power to call Special Sessions, each of which can last up to 30 days.
Over the course of the legislative session, Texas CASA’s Public Policy team will keep you updated on the progress of child welfare-related legislation, including our Champion Bills. In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more about CASA legislative advocacy and how we create positive change for children and families at the statewide level, dive into the trainings and resources linked below!
Background Info: How a Bill Becomes a Law
Check out this infographic! Click here to see a larger version.
Texas CASA’s Legislative Priorities for the 88th Session
Familiarize yourself with our legislative priorities, and the issues surrounding them:
- Texas CASA supports policies that preserve families, promote family reunification when possible, and minimize the time children spend in foster care. Learn more.
- Texas CASA supports funding and policies that provide a child access to safe, stable placements in their community that meet their individual need and support their permanency goals. Learn more.
- Texas CASA supports policies that allow CASA volunteers to be appointed by judges to represent the best interest of children involved with the child protection system, whether as part of a Suit Affecting the Child Parent Relationship or motions from the court. Learn more.
- Texas CASA supports funding and policies that further support and encourage placement with relative caregivers. Learn more.
- Texas CASA supports continued CASA funding from the Health and Human Services Commission and the Department of Family and Protective Services.
Local CASA Program Legislative Advocacy Team (LAT) Training & Guide
Over the last few months, the Public Policy team traveled to Denton, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Amarillo, El Paso, Athens, Rosenberg, Fort Worth and Austin. If you’re a LAT member and were unable to make it to a training, we have a condensed version of our LAT Training available to watch on our website. You can also review the LAT Guide virtually for legislative advocacy and public policy information. We will also have a bill tracker on our website that is updated at least weekly—coming soon!
Interested in starting a LAT at your CASA program, or receiving regular updates about legislative advocacy through our monthly newsletter or Facebook Group? Contact us at email@example.com for more information!
Save the Date for CASA Capitol Day!
Capitol Day will be on March 1, 2023. We will also be putting on a Legislative Reception the night before Capitol Day on Feb. 28, 2023, as an opportunity to mix and mingle with legislators and legislative staff. As a reminder, you must register for Capitol Day and the Legislative Reception through your local CASA program in order to attend. We will be sending out formal invitations to the Executive and Program Directors for these events soon after the beginning of the 88th Legislative Session.
If you have any questions for the Public Policy team, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will find the best person to respond to your inquiry. Thank you for your support, during the legislative session and beyond!