Texas Senate Approves Legislation Aimed At Child Protective Services Reform
Members of the Texas Senate unanimously approve legislation aimed at reforming Texas’ Child Protective Services Agency, while House members struggled through changes to the original bill that were at times labeled as racially-insensitive.
Members of the Texas Senate on a vote of 31 to 0 passed State Sen. Charles Schwertner’s CPS reform legislation on Wednesday. But over on the House side of the State Capitol, debate of that same legislative effort was not as fluid.
Garland Republican Rep. Cindy Burkett’s legislation would allow relatives to retain custody of an abused or neglected child rather than an unknown foster care family.
But while discussing the bill, Rep. Mark Keough, a Houston-area Republican, introduced an amendment that would’ve prohibited the state from providing an undocumented family with state funding to serve as a guardian, something that did not sit well with some members of the Mexican-American Legislative Caucus, like State Rep. Rafael Anchia, a Democrat from Dallas.
“This feels really racists and I’m using that word members, I’m using it right now. And I got to tell you members it’s got to stop, this is the first big bill day of the year and it’s got to stop," Anchia says.
The amendment was eventually pulled down. The bill eventually passed on a vote of 145 to 0. House members also passed another bill that would make the State’s Child Protective Services Agency its own stand-alone state entity.