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Bill filed in Texas targets welfare reform

Bill filed in Texas targets welfare reform

POSTED: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - 2:00pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - 2:04pm

The first bills of the new legislative session were filed Monday at the State Capitol. One is drawing the attention of Governor Ricky Perry and Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst.

The two men are expected to meet Tuesday morning. They're joining together in support of changes to the state's welfare system.

The meeting comes just a day after State Senator Jane Nelson filed a bill that would target the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program, otherwise known as the welfare system.

Senate Bill No. 11 draws out requirements for welfare such as stronger job training, drug testing for high-risk applicants and tougher policies that would keep people from using their welfare dollars to buy alcohol or tobacco.

Currently it's one of about 200 bills filed Monday for the new session. That number is expected to grow into the thousands over the coming months.

"Come January you've got to have your act together, or you're going to show up late. It's a very abbreviated process. We have five months to do our work and once it's over, we're not coming back for another two years," explained State Rep. Mike Villareal, (D) San Antonio.

Governor Perry appears to be on track to help push Nelson’s welfare reform bill through the session. His meeting Tuesday morning with the Lieutenant Governor is considered a rare one.

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