P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2005
AUSTIN -- The Texas Senate today approved Senate Bill 6, the omnibus protective services reform bill authored by Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, in response to a series of preventable child abuse deaths, cases of senior neglect, and problems in the state's foster care system. The bill, approved by a 30-0 vote with one member absent, now moves to the House for consideration.
"I am pleased that the Senate has approved this emergency legislation. We need to keep it on the fast track," Senator Nelson said. "The system set up to protect our most vulnerable citizens has collapsed, and this legislation aims to rebuild its foundation. When lives are in jeopardy, we need our protective service agencies to respond quickly and make the right decisions. SB 6 reduces caseloads and ensure that those individuals upon whom we rely in these life-and-death situations are properly equipped and trained to do their job."
SB 6 has been declared emergency legislation by the governor, meaning it is eligible to become law in the first 60 days of the session. Its highlights include creating a special investigative division at CPS; requiring forensic and specialized training for investigators; re-training APS workers to spot the signs of dementia and mental incapacity; transitioning more of our foster family recruitment and training services to local providers; improving technology; assisting community organizations working to prevent child abuse; and deterring bad faith reporting by increasing the penalty of filing a false report.
Senator Nelson explains SB 6.