Last night the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee voted favorably on the Texas Parental Rights Restoration Act (TPRRA) HB 2557. In a surprising vote, only one legislator voted against the bill. While, Representatives Sefronia Thompson, Will Hartnett, and Joaquin Castro were not present, Castro and Hartnett had indicated their support for the bill earlier. Representative Scott, who had indicated her support for the bill in writing was the lone no vote.
This is amazing news! However, while that is the good news, the bad news is that the bill now goes to the Calendars Committee, which is responsible for setting bills on the calendar for a vote on the house floor. Reportedly there are over 600 bills pending in that committee, and the deadline for bills being voted out of the House is May 9. This means that we must have just over a week for the Calendars Committee to put HB 2557 on the calendar for a vote.
While THSC will be hosting our last Capitol Day of the session on Tuesday, May 3, and we will be working on that bill, it is critical that members of the Calendars Committee receive calls asking them to move HB 2557 to the floor for a vote. Call and email each member of the Calendars Committee, and ask them to do this to protect single parents. Stress that this bill is not controversial as indicated by lack of opposition in committee. If your representative is member of this committee, tell him you are a constituent and want them to move this bill to the floor to protect single parents from the lawsuit abuse happening under the current law in the Grandparent Access Statute. If you don’t know who your state representative is go here. See talking points for HB 2557 here.