Texas House's 1st bill address growing foster care crisis - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Texas House's 1st bill address growing foster care crisis

Source: KAUZ Source: KAUZ

By DAVID SALEH RAUF
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas House has passed its first major bill of the session with a proposal addressing the state's troubled foster care system.

Lawmakers on Wednesday unanimously approved a proposal to restructure the state agency in charge of foster care. Another bill being debated would make it easier for at-risk children to be adopted by relatives.

Gov. Greg Abbott declared foster care reform a priority for the session.

A federal judge in 2015 ruled a portion of the state's foster-care system unconstitutional because of alleged continuing abuse. Texas has appealed.

State lawmakers have approved nearly $150 million in emergency funding to hire 800-plus workers and give pay raises to 7,000 employees. The money is meant to address staffing shortages and high turnover rates within Texas' child welfare agency.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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