Jun 25 2013
By Laura D. Wolf
With the close of the 83rd regular session of the Texas Legislature, CASA, CPS and others are analyzing which bills became law and what their impact will be on child welfare in Texas in the future. I hope at least some of you remember the old “Schoolhouse Rock” vignette on how a bill becomes a law ----- “I’m just a bill, sitting here on capitol hill……” The process laid out in that little cartoon is fundamentally accurate, but what the cartoon couldn’t adequately get across is how frenetic and frantic the final weeks and days of a legislative session can be here in Austin. Constitutionally, the Legislature only meets for 140 days in odd-numbered years, unless the Governor calls for a special session. As those 140 days wind down, the pace of the process – and the challenge in keeping up with everything – ramps up. So, it will still take some time to fully understand the impacts of this legislative session on the work that CASA does and even longer to implement some of the initiatives adopted by the Legislature. A few things we do know:
Our state association, Texas CASA, does a good job of advocating at the Legislature on behalf of CASA programs and the children we serve. They’ve prepared a very good summary of interesting legislation. We thank them for their advocacy. We also thank the members of the Legislature who represent Travis County --- their doors are always open, their staff are always responsive and helpful, they care about the children we serve.
If you want to learn more about the Legislature, find contact information for your State Senator or Representative, or take a look at the text and status of any bill, Texas Legislature Online is a very good resource, www.capitol.state.tx.us
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