Senator Nelson's Capitol Digest
April 12, 2013
Senate Passes SB 11 To Ensure TANF Recipients Are Drug-Free
The Texas Senate on Wednesday unanimously passed SB 11 by Senator Nelson to ensure that recipients of TANF, the temporary cash assistance program formerly known as welfare, are drug-free in accordance with TANF guidelines. "Drug use tears apart families, hurts children, and prevents individuals from living healthy, productive lives. It is a direct violation of the personal responsibility agreement signed by TANF participants. We have a responsibility to ensure that our policies discourage drug abuse – not enable it – and to encourage individuals with drug problems into treatment programs," said Senator Nelson. Senator Nelson also co-authored SB 21 to ensure those recieving unemployment benefits are drug-free, which passed the Senate unanimously on Thursday.
Legislation Protecting Property Rights Passes Senate
The Texas Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed SB 291 by Senator Nelson to protect property owners by requiring gas utilities to notify residents in writing five days before accessing its right-of-way on residents' property. "During the interim, dozens of Denton County residents learned a local gas provider intended to clear a 50-foot easement over a 12 mile stretch of right of way, including trees on private property," said Senator Nelson. "This legislation puts into law a requirement that residents be notified in advance of entry to their property."
SB 427 To Protect Foster Children Passes Senate
The Texas Senate on Tuesday passed SB 427 by Senator Nelson to improve background checks for those who provide direct care to children in our day cares and Child Protective Services programs. "We have a responsibility to ensure that anyone with direct access to children in state care are properly vetted and that the requirements are consistent throughout the system," said Senator Nelson. "This bill will further ensure that children in child-care facilities are properly cared for and builds on past initiatives to increase protections for our children."
Both Legislative Chambers Pass Budget
Last week, the House of Representatives passed its version of SB 1, the state appropriations bill, by a vote of 135-12. Both the House and Senate have now passed versions of the state budget, and will now appoint members to a conference committee to combine the two versions into a single bill that both chambers will vote on again. To see each version of the bill, please visit the Legislative Budget Board's website online at www.lbb.state.tx.us.
This week Senator Nelson met Subway spokesman Jared Fogle when he came to the Capitol to advocate for student health issues. She also welcomed a high-school student from SD-12 who worked as a Senate page. To see pictures of these events and others, please visit Senator Nelson's Facebook page.