Gov. Perry: “This court-created uncertainty is real and must be addressed, however I’m concerned SB 1440 overreaches and may not give due consideration to the Fourth Amendment rights of a parent or guardian. I am directing DFPS, to study the effect of the Gates decision on the ability of the department to appropriately enter a residence and, if necessary, to transport the child for interviews in a neutral location. I am also directing the department to develop and recommend statewide procedures to follow when seeking court orders without compromising the rights of parents and families.”
Gov. Perry Announces Final Decisions on Legislation
If you ever need a classic example of an out of control Texas Legislature and an out of control legislative process, you need look no further than the passage, as amended, of Senate Bill 1440.
SB-1440 started life as a fairly innocuous bill authored by Sen. Kirk Watson (D-14) and co-authored by Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-21) designed to speed the execution of an uncontested judicial order pertaining to child support or child protection. It passed in the Senate on April 16th on a viva voce vote, 31-0.
SB1440 The Take Away Your Child Act
Parents and children throughout Texas are in greater danger than ever, thanks to a recently passed child-protection measure by Democratic Sen. Kirk Watson – Senate Bill 1440 – that expands the powers of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to make it easier to remove children from their homes and families for investigation of alleged child abuse or neglect.
It’s been dubbed the “Take Away Your Child Act.”
COALITION ASKS TEXAS GOVERNOR TO VETO “TAKE AWAY YOUR CHILD ACT”
SB 1440 — CPS bill. Authored by Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin), this bill has by far drawn the widest range of opposition of any from the 81st Legislature — bringing together home school advocates, socially conservative Republicans, Libertarians, and the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform.
Another Kirk Watson bill, SB 1064 which died during the chub-a-thon in the Texas House, lives on as a last-minute amendment to SB 1440.
If SB 1440 is signed into law, Child Protective Services may enter a child’s home or take a child from school for an interview and to obtain medical records, according to powers given in the SB 1064 wording (though a judge’s permission would still be required).
Could these bills be destined for a Perry veto?