Political News

More fixes for Texas' troubled child welfare system advance

Posted May 10

— One proposal to boost Texas' beleaguered child welfare system is moving closer to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk — but not before a heated debate over vaccinations.

Abbott has declared fixing child protective services a priority in the face of rising investigator caseloads and child deaths. The House on Wednesday tentatively approved making some changes to case management and training.

Tensions over vaccinations flared before the final vote, though. Republican Rep. Bill Zedler, a prominent vaccination opponent, successfully added a ban on welfare workers giving emergency vaccinations to children removed from troubled homes without parental consent.

Another amendment to give girls in temporary state custody a vaccine against human papillomavirus infections failed. High-risk HPV can cause cancer.

A federal judge in 2015 ruled that Texas' foster care system is unconstitutionally broken.

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