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House Committee on Juvenile Justice and Family Issues - 86th R.S. (2019)

Committee Members
Harold V. Dutton, Jr., Chair
Andrew Murr, Vice Chair
Rhetta Bowers
Gina Calanni
John Cyrier
Jay Dean
Ray Lopez
Hugh D. Shine
James Talarico
Charges
• Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 86th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure intended legislative outcome of all legislation.
• Examine current medical, safety, educational, and staff training procedures used in Texas Juvenile Justice Department facilities. Evaluate community-based alternatives to state commitment and current evidence-based interventions and practices. Make policy recommendations to reduce Texas' reliance on state-run facilities, identify alternative uses for shuttered facilities, improve familial and community ties, and reinforce the main tenets of the "Texas Model."
• Examine the effectiveness of current law as it relates to child trafficking in an effort to strengthen the Governor's Child Sex Trafficking Team, which successfully facilitates the investigation of child sex trafficking cases by coordinating the efforts of the Department of Family and Protective Services, law enforcement, and prosecution as well as trauma-informed services. Identify legislative strategies that reduce vulnerabilities for at-risk youth, promote access to universal screenings, hotlines, and support services, strengthen local coordination, specialized emergency placements, and regional care networks, and improve victim services and compensation.
• Study Texas' child support guidelines as laid out in the Texas Family Code. Examine court costs (such as filing fees, attorney fees, court fees, etc.), basis for support obligations (i.e., employment, etc.), recipient employment status, and whether support should be calculated before or after taxes.
• Study impediments to raising the age of adult criminal responsibility to 18 years of age in Texas. Make recommendations related to implementation of raising the age of criminal liability from 17 to 18, funding strategies that take into account the manner in which adult and juvenile criminal justice systems would be adjusted at both the state and local levels, necessary court procedures that would need revision to accommodate any such change, and conduct that would not be a crime if committed by an adult (also known as "status offenses").
• Monitor the State Auditor's review of agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction. The Chair shall seek input and periodic briefings on completed audits for the 2019 and 2020 fiscal years and bring forth pertinent issues for full committee consideration.

Note:
Ray Lopez added 3/21/2019.

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