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Monday, October 23, 2017

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CHILDREN AT RISK Advocacy Alert - Legislative Debrief
Children At Risk

June, 2015

As you may know, the 84th Texas Legislative Session came to a close on Monday. CHILDREN AT RISK (C@R), with the support of fantastic Board members and stakeholders from all across the state as well as close collaboration with other organizations, effectively pushed legislation that will make Texas an even better place to grow up.

A HUGE thank you to all the Legislators and their staff that made it possible!


CHILDREN AT RISK’s priority bills that passed this session

Public Education

HB4 - (Huberty) - Established a high-quality Pre-K program for public schools in Texas that must meet certain requirements, including data transparency, teacher certification, curriculum standards and parent engagement. Schools that meet these requirements are eligible to receive additional funding to enhance their Pre-K programs. This bill also requires participating schools to evaluate their programs and make the data available to parents of students. The Commissioner of Education would be responsible for compiling best practices implemented by participating school districts across the state.

Health

HB2079 - (Thompson) This bill designates May as Postpartum Depression Awareness Month to encourage: the identification of signs, symptoms and treatment options; the creation of a list of recommended educational materials on PPD; increased screenings; and, collaboration between organizations and agencies and increased awareness of PPD.

Parenting

HB2630 - (Thompson) - Prioritizes evidence-based parent education by requiring that 75% of the state’s parent education funds go to evidence-based programs and 25% to promising practices. Requires that CPS and court-mandated parenting classes be evidence-based or a promising practice when available and that DFPS collect data, measure the effectiveness of state funded parent education programs, and develop and implement a 5 year strategic plan on prevention and intervention initiatives.

 

Human Trafficking

HB10 - (Thompson) Founded on recommendations from the Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force. Creates greater clarity in current statutory language, improves the identification and reporting of human trafficking, bolsters prosecution of this offense, and moves toward a more coordinated statewide response for victims.

HB188 - (Thompson) - Continues the duties of the Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force; will also direct the task force to include a strategy to reduce the demand for commercial sex as part of their efforts to combat sex trafficking in Texas.

HB968 - (Hernandez) - Veil Piercing - allows victims who have been trafficked by a business to go after the assets of shareholders who have directly benefited from human trafficking.

HB2511 - (Thompson) - Creates a Human Trafficking Prevention Business Partnership that encourages businesses to adopt policies and foster a workplace environment that protects against human trafficking.

SB1708 - (Huffman) - Establishes a statewide program for children victims of sex trafficking within the Governor’s office. This will provide victims of child sex trafficking with a single point of contact to assist them in finding appropriate services and will assign a caseworker to them that will immediately start working with providers in the child’s area to create a package of services to fit his or her immediate and long-term needs.

Looking forward to continuing our efforts throughout the interim session!



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