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March 2017 Newsletter

RAISE Texas News

Bill Filing Deadline is Coming Soon for 85th Legislative Session

RAISE Texas is already monitoring 11 bills that impact our work here in Texas. The deadline for filing a bill this session is this Friday, March 10, 2017. RAISE Texas will be finalizing the list of bills that we will be following this session and will begin to send out policy updates to our network the end of March. We look forward to working together this session to educate legislators about our field and the impact it has on the lives of Texas families.

RAISE Texas Discusses Dodd-Frank with the Houston Chronicle
RAISE Texas Executive Director, Woody Widrow, was recently interviewed about the impact of Dodd-Frank federal legislation on banks, the economy and consumers. With political moves to roll back some of these financial reforms, we are glad that Lydia DePillis and the Houston Chronicle are highlighting this topic. Click here to read the article.

Texas News

Texas Highlighted in Study on Local Payday Ordinances

A new report, The Power of Community Action: Anti-Payday Loan Ordinances in Three Metropolitan Areas, was released this year on the efforts of cities and counties in California, Texas, and Utah to curb payday lending through local ordinances. The study is a comparative analysis of local payday ordinances in all three states and describes the process by which ordinances were put in place in these three jurisdictions. Find the entire report here.

We Need YOU to Take the Financial Coaching Survey Today

Does your organization offer financial coaching? If you answered yes, please complete this important survey now. RAISE Texas’ frequent partner and colleague, CFED, is collecting information from all of the financial coaching programs in the nation to build the knowledge base and increase our collective understanding of the financial coaching field. Your input is important because it will inform the development of the field’s first Financial Coaching Design Guide. This guide will be published in the Summer 2018. We are very excited about this opportunity and want Texas financial coaching programs to be well represented. We are doing a lot of great work around financial coaching in Texas, so please share your insight by March 23, 2017 by taking the survey. Click here to take the survey now. Thank you!

Texas Fair Lending Alliance Webinar Scheduled for April 4
Mark your calendars for April 4 from 12:30-1:30 pm CDT. The Texas Fair Lending Alliance is hosting its next webinar, Alternatives Across Texas: Updates and Next Steps. This webinar will provide an update on what’s happening in communities across Texas to expand access to reasonable small dollar consumer loans and protect borrowers from predatory loan practices. Click here to register.

National News and Resources

Are YOU Interested in Applying for AFI IDA Funding?

The final session of the AFI coaching cohort is on March 16 from 2:00-3:00PM EDT. This session will be an open question and answer session on preparing an AFI grant application. This session is open to anyone that is interested in applying for a grant. Register today to get your questions answered before the application due date.

Racial Wealth Audit Website is Now Live

The Institute on Assets and Social Policy (IASP) and public policy think tank Demos developed the Racial Wealth Audit which empowers policymakers with a racial equity filter for new policy proposals and existing policy. The Racial Wealth Audit now has a website which provides information on the racial wealth gap but also gives website users some high-level “what if” scenarios. Visit the new website here.

Brief: Parents’ Assets Unlikely to Harm Need-based Aid for College Students

A new policy brief from the Center for Social Development (CSD) describes several provisions in the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) formula that excludes assets, and it illustrates the impact of parents’ assets on need-based aid in six hypothetical households. The government uses financial and demographic information from a student’s application for federal need-based aid to calculate the Expected Family Contribution which will determine the amount of need-based aid that a student is eligible to receive. Although parent and student income are the main item in the calculation, assets can also impact the calculation of the EFC. Margaret M. Clancy, one of the authors of the brief, said “our most important conclusion is that parent-owned assets are very unlikely to reduce need-based aid for low- and moderate-income dependent students.” Click here for more details.

New Report on Equity Measures In State Outcomes-Based Funding
CLASP recently released a new report that provides a detailed classification system for existing state equity measures as well as recommendations for how they could be improved. The report, “Equity Measures In State Outcomes-Based Funding: Incentives for public colleges to support low-income and underprepared students,” discusses the research that implies using outcomes-based funding without equity measures disincentives colleges from helping low-income and underprepared students. States need to build “equity measures” into their funding formulas. Click here to read the report.