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Austin, Texas 78711
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GOVERNOR CALLS SPECIAL SESSION, GIVING TANF REFORM NEW LIFE
AUSTIN — Following the adjournment of the Texas 83rd Regular Session sine die, Texas Governor Rick Perry called the Legislature back into a special session beginning today to ratify legislative maps.
The announcement provides Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, another opportunity to advance legislation ensuring that beneficiaries of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, commonly known as welfare, are drug free in accordance with program rules. Today she filed SB 6, which is identical to her version of SB 11 from the regular session that passed the Senate unanimously. That bill was being debated on the House floor at midnight on May 22 — the deadline for the House to pass bills on second reading — and therefore ran out of time.
"We should all want to reduce drug abuse in a program designed to help people rebuild their lives, and I welcome the opportunity to pursue this important legislation," said Senator Nelson. "In exchange for cash benefits, participants commit to remain drug-free while working toward self-sufficiency. Enabling and subsidizing drug abuse goes against the fundamental mission of this program. During the regular session, we addressed every concern raised in the Senate and worked in a bipartisan manner to unanimously approve a compassionate plan that protects child benefits and allows second chances."
Under the Texas Constitution, special sessions are limited to 30 days and to items on the governor's call, which can be viewed online at www.governor.state.tx.us. The first-called special session of the 83rd Texas Legislature begins today and must be completed by June 26, 2013.
"I appreciate this opportunity to address unfinished business from the regular session," said Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound. "The people of Texas want us to deal with the legislative maps to avoid another confusing election season."
SENATOR JANE NELSON represents District 12, including portions of Tarrant and Denton Counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services.