The 87th Texas Legislative Session comes to a close

The regular 87th Texas Legislative session wraps up in just a few days at midnight on Monday, May 31st. CHILDREN AT RISK staff have been working around the clock to support the public policies Texas families need most. From early childhood to human trafficking, CHILDREN AT RISK registered in support of legislation 93 times and testified 21 times.

While a number of CHILDREN AT RISK championed bills are still on the line, below are a few of the early wins we’re celebrating:

Early Childhood Education

  • HB 2607 (Talarico et al.) – Ensures publicly funded child care programs are high-quality by requiring subsidy providers to participate in the state’s quality rating and improvement system, Texas Rising Star. (House must concur Senate Amendments)
  • HB 619 (S. Thompson et al.) – Requires the Texas Workforce Commission to develop a statewide plan with goals for helping early educators achieve greater education and credentials, earn higher wages, and better utilize the Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System and Workforce Registry. (House must concur Senate Amendments)
  • SB 1555 (Zaffirini et al.) – Raises reimbursement rates to support subsidy child care providers and better reflect the cost to offer Texas families high-quality care.  (Passed; Sent to the Governor)
  • HB 1792 (Button et al.) — Streamlines the process by which the Texas Workforce Commission works with providers to get them on the path to quality. (Passed; Sent to the Governor)

Juvenile Justice

  • HB 686 (Moody et al.) – Adds to considerations a parole panel may make when considering the release of an inmate who was younger than 17-years-old at the time of the offense committed.

Health

  • HB 133 (Rose et al.) – Extends Medicaid coverage for new moms from 2 months to 6 months after birth. (House must concur Senate Amendments)
  • SB 462 (West) – Adopts policies to speed up the process for kids to access relinquishment avoidance programs (inpatient, mental health services that prevent parents from losing custody of children).
  • SB 1059 (Paxton) – Extends Medicaid eligibility for children in foster care up to age 26. This bill also increases the time between recertifications and streamlines the process of recertifying.

Human Trafficking

  • HB 390 (S. Thompson) – Provides hotel training for employees and posting of HT signage that includes information on reporting.
  • SB 315 (Huffman) – Prohibits those who are under 21 years of age from working in sexually oriented businesses.
  • HB 2633 (Johnson) Provides resources to human trafficking victims and establishes a trafficked persons grant program.
  • HB 2758 (R. Smith) – Provides training for physicians in the identification and assistance of victims of human trafficking.

    Visit our Advocacy Action Center to view more legislative resources and follow us on Twitter @childrenatrisk for real-time updates.

    Vaccines for Kids: What Parents Need to Know

    While more and more Texans are getting vaccinated each day, our state still has a long way to go to return our social calendars, schools, and economy back to normal. With the first adolescents (12-15 yrs) now eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, CHILDREN AT RISK’s Texas Family Leadership Council hosted a press conference with pediatricians and health leaders from across the state to discuss the latest vaccine developments and what families need to know.

    Watch a recording of the press conference (originally aired on Facebook on May 13, 2021) via the button to the right.

    Board Member Spotlight: Manon Kebodeaux

    As an experienced leader in human resources, Manon Kebodeaux is a valuable partner in developing a strategy for fundraising and corporate partnerships for CHILDREN AT RISK. Kebodeaux holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Houston and a master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Houston Baptist University. As an active member of CHILDREN AT RISK’s governing board, Kebodeaux stands as chair of the Nominations and Engagement Committee, serves as an intern mentor, and is a Champion for Children monthly donor, among other responsibilities. She is a proven expert in cultivating a robust non-profit board and leadership team while maintaining an upbeat and positive environment.

    Manon and Matt Kebodeaux 

    Since joining the board in December of 2018, Kebodeaux has maintained a dedication to the organization’s mission to improve the quality of life for Texas children. Manon and her husband Matt Kebodeaux currently serve as co-chairs of  CHILDREN AT RISK’s annual spring fundraising event, ‘Big Brunch: Bright Futures,’ to be held June 6, 2021. This event seeks to honor changemakers positively impacting the lives of children in Texas while bringing together the Houston community. We at CHILDREN AT RISK express high gratitude for Manon’s years of contributions and commitment to our goal.

    Shop for Good with Amazon Smile

    Did you know you can support CHILDREN AT RISK just by shopping online?

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    Upcoming Events 

    Big Brunch: Bright Futures – June 6

    CHILDREN AT RISK’s annual Big Brunch is just around the corner. Join us for an outdoor picnic with fried chicken and champagne. Hosted at The Grove Treehouse on Discovery Green, this event seeks to honor four changemakers positively impacting the lives of children in Texas while bringing together the CHILDREN AT RISK community and stakeholders.

    The event will have a live and silent auction, wine-tasting games, and as always an award for best hat. Attire is summer chic.

    Immigration Summit – June 23

    More than 90% of children of immigrants in the US are citizens, and it’s time to bridge the partisan gap to discuss critical topics affecting immigrant children and families including immigration policy, health, public benefits, farmworker issues, and more.

    Join the Texas Family Leadership Council, CHILDREN AT RISK, CLASP, the Children’s Partnership, and the Children Thrive Action Network, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM (CST) to discuss these challenges and more.

    The Future of Children: Ending Childhood Poverty – July 21

    This year’s Future of Children summit will address the root causes and common misconceptions of childhood poverty to offer attendees a better understanding of the holistic picture of income inequity in America. National experts will discuss the true cost of childhood poverty for our children and communities, and explore novel solutions to mitigate economic disparity.

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