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Relating to a plan and report on court-ordered representation for certain suits affecting the parent-child relationship.
According to the Legislative Budget Board, there would be a negative impact of ($300,000) through the biennium ending August 31, 2021.
SB 560 would require the Texas Judicial Council to develop a statewide plan requiring counties and courts to report information on court-ordered legal representation in Child Protective Services suits affecting the parent-child relationship.
The plan must include any rules or fee schedules guiding CPS attorney representation, as well as the money spent by the county on attorney costs, including the costs of private attorneys, public defenders, investigations, expert witnesses, and other litigation expenses. The Council would be required to compile all of this information in a report, submit the report to the legislature, and electronically publish the report on its website.
According to the bill author's statement of intent, this plan and report are intended to address a significant increase in legal costs related to court-appointed attorneys in CPS cases.
Texas Action supports SB 560. To the extent that the costs of court-appointed legal representation in CPS cases is getting out of hand, it is consistent with the principle of limited government to investigate the causes and find appropriate solutions.