With just over a month remaining in the current Texas legislative session, the THSC Watchmen are hard at work fighting for parental rights before the clock runs out.
Lawmaker support for the Texas Parental Rights Restoration Act (TPRRA) (HB 524 and SB 414) has grown each year that THSC returned to the Capitol, with the bills and still more recently with the hard work of the Watchmen. This week, legislators need to hear from you.
The Problem: The Grandparent Access Statute pertains to instances where grandparents desire to visit a grandchild over the objections of the child’s parent. The statute is often exploited by grandparents who disagree with a fit, single parent’s legitimate parenting decisions.
As currently written, the Grandparent Access Statute does not require a judge to order a final evidentiary court hearing within any specific time frame. This means that in a single-parent family, a child can be taken from his or her parent through temporary orders without the grandparent having to prove the parent is unfit. Many grandparents have exploited this loophole in order to take children from fit parents without just cause, sometimes for years under temporary orders.
Families are being locked into a “last dollar standing” battle, even though the initial cases brought by the grandparents may have no merit. Some families even face bankruptcy, and low-income families are the most at risk.
The Solution: The Texas Parental Rights Restoration Act, HB 524 and SB 414:
- Ensures that the proper intent of the Grandparent Access Statute is upheld.
- It requires the grandparents to prove up front that the denial of access will be harmful for the child.
- It will revise the current statute so that the battle in court is a discussion of what is best for the child instead of who can spend the most money.
To become law, a bill must pass both the Texas House and Senate before receiving a signature from the Governor. Both House and Senate versions of the TPRRA have just been scheduled for committee hearings next week: In the House Juvenile Justice Committee on Wednesday, April 22, and in the Senate State Affairs Committee on Monday, April 20. THSC and the Watchmen need your help demonstrating the strength of grassroots approval for both bills.
What You Can Do:
- Please pray that the truth will be evident to decision makers and that justice will prevail.
- Attend the committee hearings next week at the Capitol to register your support for parental rights, single parents, and the bills that will protect them.
Attend the committee hearings and register in support of a bill:
Come to the Extension building at the Capitol on April 20 and/or April 22
On April 20 at 10-10:30 AM:
- Find a testimony iPad, located throughout the Extension building in the hallways,
- Choose the Juvenile Justice and Family Issues committee,
- Select “HB 524,” and register in “Support” of the bill.
- You can attend the hearing for HB 524 in room E2.016 at 10:30 a.m., or when the House adjourns.
On April 22 at 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM:
- Find a testimony iPad located throughout the Extension building in the hallways
- Choose the State Affairs committee,
- Select “SB 414,” and register in “Support” of the bill.
- If the “State Affairs committee” option does not show up, simply proceed to the Senate Chamber on the third floor and complete a testimony card in “Support” of “SB 414.”
- You can attend the hearing for SB 414 in the Senate Chambers at 12 p.m.
Since 1986, THSC has fought to Keep Texas Families Free. You can rest assured, THSC will stand by members to continue protecting the rights of families in Texas. Is your home school family protected? Join today!