Update from the Legislature

May 16, 2017

Freedom To Serve Children Act

The state of Texas is facing a critical shortage of foster homes. In 2016 over 200 kids spent nights in offices, hotels or hospitals because there are not enough foster homes in which to place them. With limited capacity, children in foster care suffer from placements that are poorly matched to their needs, backgrounds or culture, or in placements far away from their homes and schools. HB 3859, which passed the Texas House this week, seeks to build and sustain a diverse network of high-quality child welfare providers. It accomplished this task by protecting faith-based child welfare service providers from discrimination or adverse actions for exercising their deeply held religious beliefs, while ensuring that child welfare services are available to everyone.


Without legislative changes and additional funding to the TRS-Care program, the estimated $1.06 billion shortfall would be fully borne by our retired teachers. The Texas House took decisive action in order to continue to provide meaningful coverage to our retired teachers by passing HB 3976.

American Laws For American Courts

The Texas House passed HB 45 which mandates that a ruling or decision of a state court, arbitrator, or administrative law judge may not be based on a foreign law, if the application of that law would violate a right guaranteed by the Texas or federal Constitution. HB 45 provides necessary reform by clarifying and enforcing the rule of law which says that state courts may not enforce foreign laws or practices that violate the public policy of the State of Texas or violate the U.S. Constitution.

Public School Accountability

The Texas House voted to address a concern that we consistently hear from parents and educators: excessive testing. HB 22 will reduce the number of STAAR tests required in schools and make key reforms to our testing program and schedule.

Team Meeting on Article V Convention of States prior to House Floor Debate