Progress on Our 2023 Legislative Priorities
We’re two-thirds of the way through the 88th Texas Legislature and at a key juncture for our legislative priorities. In a few short weeks, bills will start dying if they have not passed important milestones, like getting voted out of committee or placed on a calendar.
We want to provide you with an update on our top priorities this session—including the bills you have taken action on—so you have a better idea of how much further they must go in the next 45 days.
Housing Stability for Low-Income Workers
- HB 1450 (Collier): Seeks to seal an eviction record for tenants who have won or had their case dismissed. Status: This bill received a hearing in the House Business & Industry Committee but was left pending. A similar Senate version (SB 1822) has not received a hearing.
- SB 1925 (Springer)/HB 3591 (Shaheen): The initial version had a section that would have scaled back low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) affordability requirements from 45 years to 30 years. Status: We have heard that the bill authors are removing the section the reduces the minimum affordability years.
- SB 986 (Creighton)/HB 2035 (Slawson): Prohibits local governments from impeding the eviction process, which would eliminate Dallas’ eviction notification ordinance. Status: Both bills have received a hearing and were left pending. United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and our allies are asking the authors to accept an amendment that would give tenants a seven-day window to resolve the lease violation.
To learn more about these issues, read our blog on eviction sealing.
Expand Child Abuse Prevention Programs
- SB 24 (Kolkhorst): Reduces the state’s focus on child abuse prevention by expanding prevention and early intervention goals to include increased workforce participation, reduced reliance on public assistance and promotion of marriage. The new program would move child abuse prevention programs from the Department of Family and Protective Services to the Health and Human Services commission. It would also establish a statewide network of pregnancy support centers, adoption assistance providers and maternity homes, further diluting the goal of preventing child abuse. Status: The bill was voted out of the Senate and has been referred to the House Human Services Committee.
Increase Access to School-Based Mental Health Services
- HB 1571 (Lozano): Allows school districts to get reimbursed by Medicaid for mental health services provided to Medicaid-eligible students. Status: The bill received a hearing in the House Human Services Committee but was left pending. The Senate version has not received a hearing.
To learn more about this issue, read our blog on school-based mental health services.
Protecting Payday & Auto-Title Lending Ordinances
- SB 149 (Springer): Prohibits municipalities from creating ordinances that regulate local commercial activity, including payday and auto-title lending ordinances. Status: This bill received a hearing in the Senate Business & Commerce Committee but was left pending.
- HB 2127 (Burrows)/SB 814 (Creighton): Prevents municipalities and counties from adopting ordinances that affect state agriculture, finance, insurance, labor, natural resources or occupations codes and allows any person affected by these ordinances to sue the municipality, county or official. Status: The House version was voted out of the House State Affairs Committee and is heading to the Calendar Committee, which is chaired by the bill’s author. The Senate version was left pending after it received a hearing.
To learn more about this issue, read our blog on payday and auto-title loans.
- HB 2473 (Bucy): Would modernize 211 Texas, which connects North Texans to local health and social service agencies. Status: This bill unanimously voted out of House Human Services Committee and is getting sent to the House Calendar Committee, who will determine if it gets placed on a House calendar.
To learn more about this issue, read our blog on modernizing 211.
- HB 4846 (Davis): Requires metropolitan planning organizations, such as DART, to consider the needs of individuals that are disabled and those that are participating in Texas Workforce Commission workforce training programs before they receive funding from the Department of Transportation. Status: The bill has not received a hearing in the House Transportation Committee
To learn more about this issue, read our blog about equity in public transportation.