DALLAS (AP) — Texas lawmakers agree on the need to improve the state's beleaguered child welfare system, but how to do it and to pay for it during a tight budget year are still very much up in the air.

Troubles have been mounting at the state agency that investigates reports of child abuse and, if needed, places abused children in foster care. And lawmakers have already been filing bills that they think will help fix the system ahead of the legislative session that starts Tuesday.

State Rep. Armando Walle, a Houston Democrat, says, "There's no bigger fight than the need to protect the lives of children."

He has proposed legislation that would address worker caseloads, which are often cited as a reason for high turnover.


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