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June 2019 Newsletter

RAISE Texas News

Successes from the 86th Texas Legislative Session

The 86th Texas Legislative Session has officially ended. RAISE Texas tracked over 40 bills this session and worked with our partners and members to support those pieces of legislation that increased financial capability for all Texans and fought against bills that negatively impacted consumer protections or financial stability for families. We are happy to report that none of the negative bills made it through the legislature while seven positive bills reached the desk of the Governor. Below are the bills that are either already in effect or we hope will become law over the next couple weeks:

  • HB 53 Rep. Minjarez et al
    Relating to the transitional living services program for certain youth in foster care.
    Sent to the Governor on 5/26/2019
  • HB 996 Rep. Collier et al
    Addressed “zombie debt” by prohibiting debt buyers from suing to collect a time-barred debt and prohibiting revival of those debts.
    Sent to the Governor on 5/28/2019
  • HB 1442 Rep. Paddie et al
    Relating to the continuation and functions of the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner, the licensing and registration of persons regulated by that state agency, and certain consumer financial transactions regulated by that state agency.
    Sent to the Governor on 5/26/2019
  • HB 1483 Rep. Frank et al
    Relating to a pilot program for assisting certain recipients of public benefits to gain permanent self-sufficiency.
    Signed by Governor on 5/27/2019 and effective immediately.
  • HB 2524 Rep. Anderson
    Substantially limits the ability of rent-to-own businesses to pursue criminal theft of service charges, significantly improving existing law.
    Sent to the Governor on 5/29/2019
  • HB 2697 Rep. Meyer
    Addressed the problem of “coerced debt” by expanding the definition of identity theft in Texas to include debt incurred through coercion in an abusive relationship.
    Signed by the Governor on 5/31/2019 and will go into effect on 9/1/2019.
  • SB 37 Sen. Zaffirini
    Relating to a prohibition on the use of student loan default or breach of a student loan repayment or scholarship contract as a ground for refusal to grant or renew an occupational license or other disciplinary action in relation to an occupational license.
    Sent to the Governor on 5/25/2019

First Financial Coaching Huddle Scheduled for June 19 in Austin- Register TODAY!

If you are a financial coach working in or around the Austin, Texas area, join us for the first Financial Coaching Huddle! These quarterly huddle meetings are intended to bring together trained financial coaches to practice their coaching skills in a supportive environment and to network with other financial coaches. This quarter’s topic is “Helping Clients When They are Stuck.” The huddle will be hosted by Foundation Communities on June 19, 2019 from 9:00am-11:00am at the Community Financial Center North (5900 Airport Blvd., Austin, TX 78752). Click here to register now!

Texas News

Community Loan Center Celebrates 50,000th Loan

Congratulations to the Community Loan Center (CLC) which made its 50,000th loan on May 14, 2019. The CLC is an online, employer-based loan program that provides workers at participating employers the opportunity to borrow up to $1,000 with a one-year term at 18% interest with a $20 origination fee. The network of CLCs has expanded to 23 lenders located across 11 states. Since inception, the CLC has advanced over $47 million to borrowers and saved over $34 million in interest and fees typically charged by payday lenders in Texas. For more information on the Community Loan Center, click here.

NeighborWorks America Training Coming to Houston July 2019

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is bringing the NeighborWorks America training to Houston via the Texas Statewide Homebuyer Education Program. The following three training courses will be offered from July 22-26, 2019.

Click here for more information or to register. Scholarships are available but applications must be submitted by June 21.

National News

Report: Born to Win, Schooled to Lose

A new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce suggests that success is determined more by affluence than merit starting in kindergarten. A disadvantaged kindergartner with test scores in the top half has only a 3 in 10 chance of reaching higher socioeconomic status while a kindergartener from an affluent family with test scores in the bottom half has a 7 in 10 chance. The report makes a few policy recommendations for policymakers to consider narrowing these opportunity gaps between the kids with different socioeconomic status.

CFPB Video Helps Clients Build Credit Over Time

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its latest video “3 Ways to Build Your Credit Score” to help clients build credit over time. Also check out the practitioner credit portal page for more information and tools.

Great News for VITA Programs

The U.S. House of Representatives released their initial draft for a funding bill for VITA, and it has VITA at $25 million! This is almost a 40% increase over last year. We are thankful for all of the advocates in our state and around the country that continue to push for important bills like this. We will continue to follow the funding bill for VITA as it progresses through Congress this year.

Employer Helps Employees with Student Debt and Retirement Savings

An Abbott survey found that 87 percent of college students and graduates were looking for an employer offering student loan relief. With the cost of college continuing to increase and U.S. student loan balances around $1.5 trillion, more private and government employers are offering student loan assistance. Abbott Laboratories found a unique way to assist their employees by investing in their retirement savings while they pay off their student loans. In fact, employees at Abbott Laboratories who put at least 2 percent of their income toward student loan payments will qualify for Abbott’s 5 percent contribution to their 401(k) account. Click here to read more on this opportunity.