The 87th Texas Legislative Session is in full swing and bills continue to be filed ahead of the filing deadline on March 12. As we wait to see what bills will make their way through the committees and come up for consideration, there are several issues the Texas Women’s Foundation is keeping our eye on and have selected to carry forward in our Advocacy agenda.
Texas Women’s Foundation Advocacy Focus Areas
Healthcare – Texas Women’s Foundation will seek to support legislation or other actions that increase thecontinuity of care for women and eliminate financial and geographic barriers to healthcare. Sixty per cent of Texas maternal deaths occur between 60 days and 12 months post-partum. In October 2018 the Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force determined that almost 80% of pregnancy-related deaths could have been mitigated by extending coverage beyond the current 60 days post-partum to one year.
Housing – Texas Women’s Foundation will support legislation or other actions on eviction prevention services, landlord mediation and access to affordable and stable housing for low-income women and families as a foundation for economic security. Advocating for improved tenant protections through the Tenant’s Bill of Rights includes regulating late fees, providing a grace period for tenants to catch up on late rent and ensuring that the apartments tenants rent are safe and sanitary, among other protections.
Gender Discrimination – Texas Women’s Foundation will oppose bills that discriminate based on gender,gender identity, sexual orientation or gender expression. We will support bills that would extend nondiscretionary protections for LGBTQ people in employment, housing and public accommodations.
Predatory Lending and Student Debt – Texas Women’s Foundation will support legislation or other actions to maintain and improve protections for payday/title lending borrowers, consumer and identity protections for survivors of domestic violence, student debt forgiveness and consumer protections for borrowers. Advocating for making college and higher education more affordable will help Texas’ 2036 goal – to have 75% of high school students earn a post-secondary degree or credential within six years of high school graduation by the year 2036.
Child care and Afterschool –Texas Women’s Foundation will support bills that impact the affordability or accessibility of quality early childhood education. This includes building upon school finance reforms of 2019 to fund full-day pre-K programs.
Texas Women’s Foundation is already funding actions in these areas, but these are large systemic questions that require policy solutions to truly have a sustainable impact. As we await for opportunities on actions that our Army of Advocates can take, we invite you to read our full 2020 report, Economic Issues for Women in Texas, at www.txwfecoissues.org. Share it with your networks and use it as a resource to support your passions and keep it in mind for your future calls to elected officials.
Thank you for being part of our Army of Advocates!