During Greg Abbott’s State of the State address, he bragged about the short-term moves he made at Texas Child Protective Services (CPS) and then went on about the urgent need to reform the broken Texas foster child care system.
Abbott’s words were not just empty, they were flat wrong. The Dallas Morning News reported in December that “despite Abbott’s heavy hand, Child Protective Services has been in a state of perpetual crisis under his watch and, by nearly every metric, has gotten worse at protecting children.”
Moreover, Abbott left out the most important element needed to fix CPS – adequate funding to protect kids who are now in danger. He gave Republican leaders in the Legislature a pass by failing to recommend even basic funding levels or calling on them to find the resources required to protect kids under the state’s care.
So now, weeks after Abbott punted on Texas foster kids, what has happened? Budget documents submitted by Republican leaders in both the House and the Senate reveal that Republican legislators will fall almost a quarter of a billion dollars short of what is needed to fix CPS and protect kids in danger.
We already know what happens when Texas children in state care are shortchanged: The most vulnerable Texas kids are neglected, some of them die and, horribly, many more are abused and become victims of sex trafficking.
The bottom line: Greg Abbott paid only lip service to the urgent need to repair and reform Texas Child Protective Services. Republican legislative leaders accurately read Abbott’s inaction as indifference and are following his lead by failing Texas kids.
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