A Message from Jennifer Allmon, Executive Director
During legislative session advocates trek to Austin to express their wishes, call and write their legislators, and organize others to pass legislation, but too often that is the end of engagement on the issues. Most legislation requires the hard work of state agencies to implement effectively — but this is precisely when most advocates are silent. Legislation is generally effective on Sept. 1 after the legislature adjourns, which means that in the next week there will be hundreds of new laws in Texas.
Shortly after Sept. 1, state agencies will issue draft rules for public comment. Savvy advocates use this rules process to further advance, protect, or sometimes undermine the underlying legislation. Watch for action alerts on opportunities to comment on these rules processes as they move forward. It is critical advocates continue to express their views as state agencies seek comments on the rules and processes for implementation of hard fought legislative wins.
The staff of the TCCB has already taken action with state agencies on two of our highest legislative priorities. During session we successfully advocated for increased funding for Alternatives to Abortion providers who provide life-saving services to pregnant and parenting families. This summer, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission has asked for feedback on how to most efficiently and effectively spend this increased funding. Our staff consulted with existing providers and studied the data from the program services to formulate our recommendation to the commission, which are outlined in this letter.
We are also working with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the Texas Private Schools Association on the implementation of the improvements to student protection. The TEA has produced a video that highlights how critical gaps in student protection were closed because of the legislation we proposed and supported throughout the session. It is critical for school teachers, principals, administrators, and parents to understand how these new tools can be used to increase transparency and accountability for teacher misconduct. Director of Education Lisette Allen has more information below.
For a summary on other legislation effective on Sept 1, check out this series from the Texas Tribune. A list of the bills TCCB supported that will become law soon is in our Sine Die Report.
As always, you can follow us on on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates. God bless!