Unfortunately, on Monday, June 1, the Texas Legislature sent Senate Bill 206 to the Governor for signing, after a long and tedious process of getting the bill through the Texas House. However, this bill hurts Texas families. If you have been following the Tutt family’s case, you will understand the need to veto this bill.
Three Reasons to Veto Senate Bill 206:
- Provides no penalties for CPS on missed deadlines;
- Allows CPS to unnecessarily delay a child’s meeting with parents; and
- Eliminates standards of progress in CPS cases.
How did this happen?
Senate Bill 206 is a major CPS reform measure filed in response to a disheartening review of the agency last summer. The review revealed serious shortcomings in the system. Numerous conservative groups have chased SB 206 through the legislative process to try to raise an alarm about various measures included in the bill and the lack of true progress made by the legislation towards fixing the status quo.
After the Texas House finally pushed the bill through without needed reforms, THSC—in coalition with other conservative groups and individuals—drafted a letter to the Governor requesting a veto of the bill.
Despite repeated concerns from THSC and other groups, as well as numerous attempts to fix the bill throughout the process, Texas House leadership forced the bill through with changes that seem to benefit only CPS.
Specifics About Concerns with SB 206
There are many problematic and unproductive provisions (read the 89-page bill), but the main concerns are listed here:
- SB 206 extends the deadlines for cases and allows CPS more time to prosecute families in court, but provides no penalties for CPS or relief for the family if CPS fails to meet the deadlines. Not only is CPS now provided an extra six months of time under the bill to prosecute the family on a case that is already supposed to be high priority and timely, it is not even required to meet the deadlines provided in the law.
- SB 206 unnecessarily allows CPS to delay a visit between parents and their child who has been removed. Originally, CPS had three days to arrange a visit with the parents and their child after removal. The bill extends that deadline to five days without cause. When a child is removed traumatically from a family, extending that child’s time away from family unnecessarily is senseless.
- SB 206 eliminates the concrete standards by which progress on an investigation is measured. Insuring the quality of an investigation that potentially involves the removal of a child is paramount, and the removal of accountability standards in the process does not protect the child or the family.
How you can fix this
Please call the Governor’s office and let them know that SB 206 is bad for Texas parents, children, and families, and request that Governor Abbott veto the bill.
Calls to Governor Abbott’s office are still needed asking him to veto SB 206. The number for the office is (512) 463-2000. Please leave a message registering your opinion if your call is not answered. You can also send an email message here.
Your message may be something like this:
Thank you for your time and your support. Already this week your calls have proven successful in protecting parental rights. Let’s do it again on this bill that protects CPS rather than parents and children!
Would you like to join THSC in the fight to continue your freedom? Support THSC today and help Keep Texas Families Free.