In June, we hosted a legislative recap webinar on the key wins and challenges of 88th Texas Legislative Session and what comes next for Texas Nonprofit Strong. The presentation highlighted legislative matters of interest to Texas nonprofits, the communities they serve, and key impact areas, such as education, financial stability, and health. Here are a few of our biggest takeaways:
- Concerns About Health & Education: We highlight concerns about the partial funding of state benefits, including Medicaid, TANF, and WIC. There is a worry that families may not receive timely Medicaid renewals due to staffing issues, and children may be left behind.
- Ranking & Issues in Health Coverage: Texas lags in health coverage and outcomes rankings. Education has potentially suffered the most during the legislative session. The impact on Texas teachers and public school students has been particularly significant.
- Focus on Outcomes for Higher Education & Community Colleges: There's significant movement in higher education with the passage of House Bill 12, which reforms community college funding. The bill focuses on performance and outcomes, increasing affordability and capacity.
- Workforce Training & Nonprofit Support: We highlight House Bill 1755, which supports educational institutions and nonprofits offering performance-based workforce training programs.
- Lack of Movement on Financial Stability: The lack of movement on financial stability, including affordable housing, transportation, and basic needs assistance, has been disappointing. However, there are some wins, such as improvements to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
In case you missed it, check out the recording of the webinar by completing our form. We were glad to see movement on key issues related to our public policy principles, including increased investments in community mental health, broadband, and home healthcare workers. Additionally, lawmakers passed a few bills directly related to nonprofit capacity, volunteerism, and charitable giving.
- HB 456 by Rep. Craddick exempts royalty interests owned by a charitable organization from property taxes.
- HB 541 by Rep. Longoria expands the range of local nonprofits eligible to receive a donation from a criminal defendant as a fulfillment of court-imposed probation conditions.
- HB 1024 by Rep. Thompson, S. increases the amount of property that may be offered or awarded at a charitable raffle from $250,000 to $1,000,000.
- HB 3599 by Rep. Thierry gives food banks an exemption from fuel taxes and registrations for their fleets.
- SB 643 by Sen. Zaffirini amends current laws around charitable bingo, including the number of annual temporary bingo licenses and increasing the prize values, and more.
- HB 53 by Rep. Thompson, E. exempts registration fees from a vehicle used by a nonprofit disaster relief organization exclusively for emergencies, training, equipment maintenance, transportation of disaster relief supplies, or other activities related to disaster relief.
- HB 242 by Rep. Howard encourages the donations of certain menstrual products by protecting donations made for charitable purposes.
Looking ahead, our Advocacy Network will review issues to explore further during the interim, including interim charge ideas to submit to legislative committees later this year. Stay tuned for more ways to take action on behalf of the Texas nonprofits, including updates on the next special session on education that is expected in October!
Ready to view the webinar?