Texas Legislature Gets a C+

The grades are in for Texas Lawmakers. A child advocacy group issued what they are calling the Children's Report Card. It grades lawmakers on how they voted on issues that affect children -- like dropout rates -- the Children's Health Insurance Program and cleaning up the environment. Houston Public Radio's Laurie Johnson has more.

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Children at Risk President Dr. Bob Sanborne says the 80th Legislative Session did result in gains for children -- but kids are not yet an overall public policy priority in Texas.

"The Texas Legislature really did not do as well as we would have liked it to do. We give it a C+ in our legislative report card. We think that the Houston delegation, however, did a lot better. We give it a B in our report card because there are so many great leaders here in the Houston area that fought for children's issues."

Sanborne says one of the biggest accomplishments from the Houston delegation was restoring funding to CHIP. That bill passed by an overwhelming majority in both the house and senate. But he says the session's legislation still fell far short of what child advocacy groups were hoping for.

"We found that mental health was not addressed at all. There's still a long way to go in terms of universal coverage for our children. The working poor are still being properly taken care of. And public education is still a huge area that we need to tackle."

The Children at Risk group gave a grade of A to six out of a total of 38 Houston-area lawmakers. Laurie Johnson, Houston Public Radio News.

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