On Monday, a major CPS reform bill, House Bill 7, was heard on the House floor after being placed on the Texas House of Representatives’ emergency calendar.
HB 7, authored by CPS attorney and Democratic State Representative Gene Wu, is one of the most comprehensive CPS reform bills focusing on parental rights issues filed during this Texas legislative session.
During the committee process, the bill underwent substantial changes from its original language to ensure that it contained the best reforms possible.
Parent-Child Protection Act Added to House Bill 7
Rep. Wu has previously disagreed with THSC on several other issues of parental rights. However, Republican attorney Rep. Dustin Burrows, author of THSC’s CPS reform bill (The Parent-Child Protection Act) was able to negotiate amending nearly all of THSC’s priority CPS reforms onto HB 7, which passed the Texas House Monday by a wide margin. This included most of the Parent-Child Protection Act.
The provisions of the Parent-Child Protection Act (HB 3297) added to HB 7 include reforms to:
- Prohibiting CPS from removing a child or terminating parental rights based on evidence that the family home schooled or failed to vaccinate a child.
- Allow the court to postpone a show cause hearing — if good cause is shown — for up to a week when the parent or the parent’s attorney needs more time to prepare.
- Disallow the termination of parental rights for both parents when there is evidence of abuse against only one parent.
- Prohibit courts from requiring indigent parents to pay child support costs.
- Require all cases related to the same children and same CPS incident be heard by the same judge/court.
- Enforce the current one-year deadline on CPS cases by automatically dismissing the suit without a court order if the case is not completed by the deadline.
- Prohibiting hearings from being held without the parents present unless specifically authorized in the Family Code.
CPS Reform in Motion This Week
Representative Dustin Burrows, author of the House version of the Parent-Child Protection Act, along with several other Representatives, offered amendments on the House floor to further strengthen HB 7 and add on several final additional elements from the Parent-Child Protection Act.
As passed by the House, THSC strongly supports House Bill 7 and looks forward to continuing to work on the bill throughout the legislative process.
Please consider donating to THSC Watchmen team as they continue working to get CPS reform from the Parent-Child Protection Act passed during the legislative session. This is part of our effort supporting home school families by Keeping Texas Families Free!