Politics and public policy can be dark at times, but there are still good people in the Texas legislature. Standing up for good, conservative legislation will cause enemies, but THSC has several strong friends in both the Texas House and Senate.
Many of these upstanding public servants helped THSC during the 2017 Texas Legislative session in Austin. Our success is largely due to these elected officials, so we would like to introduce you to them.
Texas State Representative James Frank
Not only does State Rep. James Frank sit on the board of THSC, but he carried the Child Trauma Reduction Act (HB 3316), which became part of THSC’s CPS reform legislation. Representative Frank also championed the Tim Tebow Bill (HB 1323).
Rep. Frank was instrumental in helping THSC amend most of our CPS reform language onto other bills, which eventually went to Governor Abbott’s desk to be signed. He is a home school dad to six sons with his wife, Alisha.
Texas State Senator Bryan Hughes
A longtime friend of THSC, Sen. Bryan Hughes did more for parents this session than ever before. Not only did he agree to carry one of THSC’s largest bills, the Parent-Child Protection Act (SB 1415), which contained a majority of THSC’s CPS reforms, but he carried our CPS Case Deadlines bill (SB 874).
Additionally, Senator Hughes played a vital role ensuring that several key CPS priorities were amended onto bills that made their way to the governor’s desk to be signed. Senator Hughes is an attorney and lives in East Texas.
Texas State Senator Lois Kolkhorst
Sen. Lois Kolkhorst impressed THSC and other conservative organizations with her performance in the 85th Texas Legislature. She was resilient in the face of adversaries and even withstood personal attacks and threats on her life. Through it all, Sen. Kolkhorst proved that she is a parental rights champion.
Senator Kolkhorst carried two pieces of THSC’s CPS reform legislation that were also included in the Parent-Child Protection Act: the Case Consolidation Bill (SB 738) and the Postponement of Show-Cause Hearing Bill (SB 739).
Senator Kolkhorst also worked with THSC to eliminate threats in HB 1549, which was a large CPS bill that would have allowed CPS to make regular visits to the home of anyone considered “at risk” of possible abuse or neglect. Sen. Kolkhorst and her husband Jim have two children.
Texas State Representative Dustin Burrows
Representative Burrows proved himself to be a defender of parental rights this session. He carried the House version of the Parent-Child Protection Act (HB 3297), which included language that prevents CPS from removing a child based on evidence of home schooling or the parent’s decision to decline a vaccination.
Furthermore, he was instrumental in ensuring that THSC’s CPS reforms were amended onto several bills that successfully passed and were signed by the governor. Rep. Dustin Burrows and his wife Elisabeth have three boys.
Texas State Representative Stephanie Klick
A longtime advocate of parental rights and home school freedom, Representative Klick was eager to help THSC again this session. Right away, she picked up a bill from THSC’s CPS reform legislation, the Child Abuse Registry Reform Bill (HB 4100).
Rep. Stephanie Klick also worked to amend SB 11 to protect families from invasive medical exams in CPS cases prior to a judge’s determination of whether removal of the child was proper. She and her husband Don have four home schooled children. They also have four grandchildren.
Texas State Senator Charles Perry
Sen. Charles Perry was a conservative champion for numerous conservative grassroots organizations this session. THSC was one of many organizations that he assisted. Senator Perry gladly filed SB 1063 to help protect parents and families in CPS investigations.
SB 1063, which passed and was sent to Governor Abbott, prevents CPS from visiting a family’s home when allegations can be clearly confirmed and ruled out without a home visit. Senator Perry and his wife, Jacklyn, live in West Texas and have two children.
Texas State Representative Scott Sanford
Rep. Scott Sanford not only has a heart for ministry as a pastor, but he also has a heart for families. This was apparent during the Texas Legislative session when he carried two pieces of THSC family law reform legislation known as the Family Unity Act.
Representative Sanford carried the Temporary Orders Bill (HB 2643) and the Best Interests Bill (HB 1899), which both would have protected parents defending against lawsuits by third parties seeking possession of their child. He and his wife, Shelly, live in McKinney, Texas, and have two children.
Texas State Senator Donna Campbell
Sen. Donna Campbell has been a stalwart conservative warrior for families and home schoolers in Texas for years. She is opinionated and is never afraid to share her values or the truth with others. She continued to fight for families this session, including picking up two pieces of the Family Unity Act to protect Texas parents and families.
Two sections of the family law reform legislation that Senator Campbell carried for THSC this session were the Modification Suits Bill (SB 815) and the Senate version of the Best Interests Bill (SB 816). She and her husband, Stan, have four children.
Texas State Representative James White
A longtime supporter of THSC and an advocate of parental rights, Rep. James White stood up for families yet again this session. He carried an vital portion of THSC’s Family Unity Act legislation—the non-CPS Case Deadlines Bill (HB 1361).
HB 1361 would have required that suits against a parent where a third party seeks possession of the parent’s child must be completed within the same deadlines required of CPS cases. Currently, there are no deadlines on these cases. Representative White successfully pushed the bill through the House committee, but the bill was not scheduled to be heard on the House floor in time.
Texas State Senator Brandon Creighton
Sen. Brandon Creighton is a staunch conservative that THSC can count on. THSC approached Senator Creighton this session to ask him to carry the Senate version of the non-CPS Case Deadlines bill (SB 1019), and he agreed to carry this part of THSC’s family law reform legislation.
With his excellent voting record, Senator Creighton continues to prove that he is a conservative that families can trust. He and his wife, Fawn, have two children and live in Conroe, Texas.
Texas State Representative Jodie Laubenberg
Another longtime supporter of THSC, Rep. Jodie Laubenberg has consistently voted in support of parental rights and home school freedom legislation.
This session, Representative Laubenberg agreed to carry part of THSC’s Family Unity Act. Specifically, she carried the House version of the Modification Suits Bill (HB 2890), which protects parents who are brought back to court a second time after a previously closed case has been reopened. She and her husband, Bob, live in Parker, Texas.
Texas State Senator Van Taylor
Many politicians lack the conservative values and the analytical skills that Senator Taylor possesses. Fortunately, he is a friend of THSC and home schoolers.
Sen. Van Taylor has been an advocate of the Tim Tebow Bill (SB 640) for multiple sessions. Just like in 2015, Senator Taylor carried the bill this session. Sen. Van Taylor and his wife, Anne, have three children.
Texas Legislature: Looking Forward
After the conclusion of the 2017 Texas Legislative session, many individuals turn their attention to new targets to oppose in the looming primary election. THSC, on the other hand, will continue focusing on our mission to support elected officials who fought for parental rights and home school freedoms during this legislative session.
Sign up for email notifications today to follow THSC’s work in the upcoming election cycle. THSC will work to support and endorse champions for families in the ongoing fight of Keeping Texas Families Free!