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AUSTIN (AP) – The Senate has approved mandating 35 hours of training for potential foster care parents, more than double what some are now required to have.

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The proposal by Sunnyvale Republican Rep. Cindy Burkett cleared the House last month and passed the Senate without debate Tuesday. Both chambers will have to reconcile small tweaks before it goes to Gov. Greg Abbott to be signed into law.

The proposal toughens the foster-care screening process. Critics worried it could make the already-difficult recruitment of foster parents even harder, but opposition was minimal.

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Texas already requires 35 training hours for state foster-care recruits, but only 16 hours for potential parents retained through private contractors.

The bill comes after 13 children died while in Child Protective Services custody in fiscal years 2013 and 2014.

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