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This is the Final Moment to Take a Stand
Children at Risk

April, 2013

CHILDREN AT RISK  

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We can’t believe the legislative session is halfway over! Our staff at CHILDREN AT RISK is working hard to move our priority bills through the legislative process. We wanted to fill you in on what has been happening thus far and ask for your support during this pivotal stage. Your voice is crucial in ensuring that we move forward in creating healthier, safer and more fruitful environments for our children.

We have been tracking over 45 bills that directly affect the lives of children. Some of these include:

SB 376: Implements school breakfast in schools where 80% or more of the student population is economically disadvantaged
Legislator: Lucio
Status:
Action left pending in Senate Committee on Education

Why it is important:
The research is clear: school breakfast programs increase academic attendance and achievement, reduce hunger among low-income children, lead to improved health and nutrition, and help build lifelong healthy eating habits.

What you can do:
Contact the members of the Senate Committee on Education by email or phone and tell them to vote favorably on SB 376 in order to move the bill out of committee.
 

HB 2725:  Protects the confidentiality of shelters that serve child trafficking victims, ensuring the safety of the victims and the staff. This bill also guarantees that survivors receive appropriate, effective support and services in shelters and care facilities
Legislators:
Thompson | Frullo | Raymond | Davis
Status:
Action left pending in the House Committee on Government Efficiency and Reform

Why it is important:
Child victims often find themselves in the juvenile justice system with access to limited services and little chance for rehabilitation. Therefore, they should be provided with secure shelter and effective support and services.

What you can do:
Contact the members of the House Committee on Government Efficiency and Reform by email or phone and tell them to vote favorably on HB 2725 in order move the bill out of committee.

SB 92: Designates a juvenile court and a program for certain juveniles who may be the victims of human trafficking
Legislator:
Van de Putte
Status:
Bill voted favorably and reported from Senate Committee on Jurisprudence and recommended for local and uncontested calendar

Why it is important: 
SB 92 designates a juvenile court with alternative programs, which help to ensure that children are not further traumatized by being treated as juvenile delinquents and incarcerated.

What you can do:
Contact your Senator and ask them to vote in favor of SB 92. Find your Texas State Senator.

SB 503: Relating to the establishment of expanded learning opportunities council for public school students
Legislator:
West
Status:
Bill voted favorably from Senate Committee on Education and recommended for local and uncontested calendar

Why it is important:
We need more than our traditional school calendar of 180 seven-hour days to successfully serve Texas’ increasingly diverse student body. Extending the hours in a school day, increasing the days in a school year, and providing learning programs outside of the regular school hours are all formats for expanding learning. The extra time can be used for academic support and tutoring as well as mentoring, enrichment, and physical activity.

What you can do:
Contact your senator and ask them to vote in favor of SB 503. Find your Texas State Senator.

SB 403: Aims to increase accessibility in food deserts with a revolving loan fund that would support the development, expansion, and renovation of supermarkets and healthy corner stores in food deserts across the state
Legislator:
Zaffirini
Status:
Left pending in Senate Committee on Agriculture, Rural Affairs & Homeland Security

Why it is important:
The lack of access to affordable, nutritious foods has a negative impact on children’s health and ultimately affects society at large. Studies have shown that people with limited access to healthy foods have a higher rate of obesity and other diet-related diseases than those with convenient access to healthy foods. In fact, obesity cost Texas businesses $9.5 billion in 2009, with annual costs projected to rise to $32.5 billion by 2030, if current trends continue.

What you can do:
Contact the members of Senate Committee on Agriculture, Rural Affairs & Homeland Security by email or phone and tell them to vote favorably on SB 403 in order to move the bill out of committee.

If you are passionate about ending childhood hunger, improving education, reforming juvenile justice, and stopping child trafficking, NOW is the time to take action by contacting your legislators!

We want to keep you updated and send you information you want to hear. If you haven't already, please consider joining our Action Alert email list. We'll send weekly opportunities to act in these final months of the legislative session.

Here are some other ways you can show your support:

Learn more about these bills and all our priority issues on our website: http://childrenatrisk.org/policy/legislative-priorities/

Share information about the importance of these bills by forwarding this email to your networks

Tell your friends you are an advocate for children through Twitter & Facebook and encourage them to take action

You can also tweet at the legislators! Check out Texas Tribune’s Members of the 83rd Legislature on Twitter!

 

Thank you for taking a stand for our children!

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