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Senator Uresti passes major CPS reform through Senate

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May 26, 2017

AUSTIN, TX— Senator Carlos Uresti passed House Bill 7 out of the Texas Senate unanimously on Wednesday. House Bill 7 by Representative Gene Wu and sponsored by Senator Carlos Uresti is a bipartisan bill that impacts every aspect of a legal case involving parents, children, and the Child Protective Services (CPS) system. The Texas house concurred on the Senate’s changes on Friday.

"When a family becomes involved with CPS, they deserve fair treatment and due process. The department must also have sufficient tools available to act immediately in those cases when a child is in a truly dangerous situation. House Bill 7 strikes that careful balance, and will ultimately save kids’ lives." said Senator Carlos Uresti

HB 7 requires CPS and the family court system to provide additional consideration to what is in the best interest of the children, and tasks the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to periodically search for potential family or kinship placements for children in foster care. HB 7 improves coordination of medical services for children in the foster care system, and strengthens the role of attorney ad litems and guardian ad litems as legal representatives tasked with advocating on behalf of children in a court proceeding.

"Among many changes passed during the 85th Legislative Session to our CPS system, House Bill 7― with its balanced approach to protecting children, preserving civil rights and providing transparency―will have the most notable impact on the tens of thousands of families who interact with CPS and DFPS. I urge Governor Abbott to sign the bill immediately." said Senator Carlos Uresti

HB 7 also creates new licensure types to help place children who are victims of trafficking in appropriate therapeutic settings.

Sen. Uresti represents Senate District 19, which covers more than 35,000 square miles and contains all or part of 17 counties, two international ports of entry, eleven state parks, 51 school districts, 2700 miles of highways, and more than 23,000 producing oil and gas wells in both the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin. The district is larger than 12 states and 82 Nations, and contains over one third of the Texas-Mexico border. Sen. Uresti is proud to serve on the Finance, Natural Resources & Economic Development, Health & Human Services, and Administration Committees. Senator Uresti is the first Senator from San Antonio to serve on the Legislative Budget Board.