Campaign Issues

So many issues face Bell County. Michelle Cummings can tackle them and make our community a better place.

Michelle Cummings offers a fresh approach to Justice focusing on Efficiency, Transparency, and Community. 

Bell County is a diverse community with a population that is ever changing due to the presence of the military. The issues that are faced need someone that has the flexibility to adapt to the changing population and the mindset to be open to the issues that face the members of the community. 



Marijuana laws are a hot topic across the nation, and Bell County is no different. In 2022, voters in Killeen and Harker Heights voted to decriminalize misdemeanor marijuana possession within the city limits. 

The City of Killeen enacted an ordinance in accordance with the vote of the people; Harker Heights did not. 

Now both cities are involved in lawsuits based on their decision. 

The City of Killeen is presently in a lawsuit brought by the current Bell County Attorney. 

This lawsuit is nothing other than a waster of taxpayer’s money and county resources. 

Several cities in Texas, have passed decriminalization statues and found other less costly ways to seek justice for possession of marijuana. 

On average a person is held in the Bell County jail for 39 days on a misdemeanor possession charge alone. This costs the county approximately $90 per day per inmate. 

The accused is also entitled to a court appointed attorney (after qualification). In 2022, attorney fees reported to the Texas Indigent Defense Commission for misdemeanor trial court fees were $1,083,775 and court expenditures were $1,089,673, totaling $2,173,448 for the prosecution of misdemeanor cases alone. 

In 2020, Texas Department of Public Safety decided they would no longer perform testing to distinguish between hemp and marijuana in misdemeanor cases. The result, private labs at a high cost would have to be used. 

In Texas, a Class B misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of 180 days in jail and up to a $2,000 fine. Possession of Marijuana 2 ounces or less is a class B offense. 

In Texas, a Class A misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine. Possession of Marijuana 4 ounces or less but more than 2 ounces is a class A offense. 

Several counties in Texas have adopted a cite and release for possession of marijuana offenses. The process is handled much like a speeding ticket and those cited receive a ticket and pay a fine. The result is less costly to the county and it frees up law enforcement to spend more time patrolling the streets and investigating felony level offenses. 


The Bell County Attorney’s office is responsible for not only the prosecution of adult misdemeanor offenses but also for the prosecution of juvenile cases, collection and prosection for “hot checks”, researching and rendering opinions for county officials on legal questions related to their official duties, conducting special investigations, and representation of Child Protective Services when children are removed from the home or when a court order is needed for assistance. 

With the number of responsibilities within the office, it is apparent that efficient operations are necessary. 

The United States Constitution guarantees a citizens right to a speedy trial. Even without a trial, citizens of Bell County need fast, efficient, and fair resolutions of their cases. 

All cases within the purview of the County Attorney’s office will be handled in an efficient manner which includes: 

  • Timely production of all discovery in cases
  • A established process for communication with County Attorney and its representatives with a time frame in which a response is to be returned
  • A collaborative approach to case resolution
  • A transparent process for the handling of cases to include speedy resolutions and resolutions that are not costly to the county and its taxpayers. 

Child Protective Services

In 2022, 470 children living in Bell County were removed from their home by CPS. 

At the end of 2022, 1,439 children who resided in Bell County were under the legal guardianship of the State. 

At the end of 2022 Bell County had the 5th highest number of children in foster care in the State of Texas. Bell County ranked below Bexar (4,209), Harris (2,984), Dallas (2,845), and Tarrant (1,943). 

Bell County ranks around number 14 for population however, we are losing our children at a higher rate than other counties with higher populations. A collaborative discussion needs to occur and the focus needs to be on why and how do we reduce these numbers. Children entering foster care are not “job security” for those employed by DFPS or those appointed by the courts to represent the parents and children. 

An update to the United States District Court in the case of Stuckenberg v. Abbott was filed on October 25, 2023. The 45 page report pertained to children in the custody of DFPS that did not have licensed placement. The report outlines the concerns and focuses on many children being kept in Bell County and the issues that have stemmed within the community due to those children being dumped here without adequate supervision and a plan to ensure the safety of the people living around them. The State has leased private residences within Bell County and the youth live there with caseworkers rotating in and out to provide “supervision”. 

A collaborative approach to answer the questions needs to be developed with input from the community and a plan must be developed and implemented to reduce the number of children removed from their homes AND to stop Bell County from being the dumping ground for the youth that it has failed to secure placement for elsewhere. 


On November 5, 2024, vote for Michelle Cummings for Bell County Attorney.

OnMarch 5, 2024, vote for Michelle Cummings for Bell County Attorney

Political advertisement paid for and approved by the candidate.

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