Urging the Legislature to Address Kids’ Priorities in “Interim Charges”

Kate Murphy, our Director of Child Protection Policy, recently discussed our interim charge recommendations with legislative staffers.

With the dawn of a new year, both the Texas House and Senate are considering what key issues each legislative committee will explore prior to the 2025 legislative session. 

During the interim, the Speaker of the House and the Lt. Governor ask legislators to bring forward topics they would like the Legislature to research and hold hearings on prior to the next legislative session. Once the Speaker and Lt. Governor have gathered these requests, they each develop a list of “interim charges” for legislative committees to study to lay the groundwork for the next legislative session. Interim charges are an opportunity for stakeholders and advocates to highlight key issues affecting Texans between sessions.

In the waning weeks of 2023, the Speaker notified House members that their requests were due by January 5th. Our team developed a set of recommended interim charges that would promote the health, safety, and development of Texas children and discussed them with a number of House and Senate members and staff.  

Our recommended interim charges would give state leaders the opportunity to study how best to:

  • Support Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) for toddlers with disabilities
  • Ensure Texas has a functional system for parents enrolling eligible children in health coverage  
  • Promote maternal health policies and other health priorities
  • Secure potential funding sources to support children’s mental health
  • Safely keep more children with their families and out of foster care — and support kids who do enter foster care  
  • Ensure parents have access to high-quality early childhood education for their children
  • Ensure the success of emergent bilingual students
  • Support early childhood education for our youngest students with disabilities
  • Improve pathways to college for youth in foster care
  • Lower child care costs for parents and increase access to high-quality programs

While the Lt. Governor has not given a definitive deadline to Senators to submit their interim charge recommendations, an announcement should be coming soon. We also expect official interim charges for each committee will be released in the coming months, and then hearings will begin shortly after that.

We look forward to working with legislators and our partners on these important issues affecting Texas kids and families!

To stay up to date on these issues, be sure to follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our email updates!