This week was a big week for The Texas Legislature. Friday was the last day House Bills must pass out of the House and over to the Senate. If a House bill did not passed before the House adjourned, it has no chance of passing this session. This week the House also “killed” HJR 3 which would have increased the sales tax in order to pay for property tax relief. The Speaker, Lieutenant Governor, and Governor had all agreed to move forward with a sales tax increase to pay for property tax relief, and believed they had the votes. The House pulled consideration of the bill to not put members in a difficult decision.
There are only 17 days left in the Legislative Session which means there are only a couple of weeks left to get bills out of committees for a chance to be heard on the House or Senate floors. Next week there will be a lot of long committee hearings to get as many bills voted out of committee as possible. This week multiple bills passed out of committees and out of various chambers, and are one step closer to potentially becoming law. SB 781 by Senator Kolkhorst is otherwise known as the “RTC” bill was voted out of the House Human Services Committee this week. SB 1535 by Senator Menendez which would add additional oversight and clarifying language regarding the role of the foster care ombudsman was also voted out of the House Human Services Committee with significant changes to the bill language. Finally, SB 568 by Senator Huffman was voted out of the House Human Services Committee. This bill would add additional monetary penalties to residential providers as well as daycare providers. SB 1231 by Senator Bettencourt was voted out of the House Education Committee this week. This bill would require private school administrators to be notified of an abuse or neglect investigation being conducted by DFPS that involves an employee and a student at the school similar to the current statute for public schools. HB 692 by Representative White was voted out of Senate Administration this week and is heading to the Senate Floor. This bill will prohibit schools from placing homeless students in out-of-school suspension. HB 1702 was voted out of Senate Higher Education this week which would require the foster care liaison at a college to obtain names annually of students at the institution who were in foster care and requires the college or university to publicly provide contact information for the liaison and information on supports for former foster youth.
Committee Hearings Next Week
There aren’t many weeks left to hear bills before the Legislative Session ends. More hearings may be posted for next week with little notice and we will keep you up-to-date on future hearings, although there may not be much noticed. Things are moving very quickly at the Texas Capitol!
House Human Services
5/14/19, 8 a.m.
SB 470 Kolkhorst
Relating to certain duties of county child welfare boards and of the Department of Family and Protective Services regarding county child welfare boards.
SB 1101 Kolkhorst
Relating to the consolidation of ombudsman programs administered by the Health and Human Services Commission.
SB 1130 West | et al.
Relating to the establishment of a task force on father engagement in this state.
SB 1279 West | et al.
Relating to prevention and early intervention programs and practices.
Senate Health and Human Services
5/14/19, 8 a.m.
HB 53 Minjarez | et al. SP: Powell
Relating to the transitional living services program for certain youth in foster care.
HB 72 White | et al. SP: Paxton
Relating to the provision of Medicaid benefits to certain children formerly in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services.
HB 1709 González, Mary | et al. SP: Menéndez
Relating to the appointment of a surrogate parent for certain children in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services.
HB 2764 Frank | et al. SP: Hughes Relating to minimum standards and caregiver training for substitute care providers for children in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services.
TACFS and YFT Webinar May 21
Please join us for a webinar on “Pulling back the curtain on Youth for Tomorrow (YFT)” on Tuesday, May 21st at 10 a.m.
YFT, CPS, and TACFS are teaming up to present a webinar related to YFT’s role, processes, and the latest information you need to know regarding changes and opportunities involving YFT. Please join us on Tuesday, May 21st for this interactive webinar. Get your questions ready and register here.