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Monthly E-Newletter

June 2011 Newsletter

Save the Dates November 1-2 for the 2011 RAISE Texas Learning Forum and Summit!

On November 1, RAISE Texas is co-sponsoring a Learning Forum with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas titled “Taking College Savings Accounts to Scale.” This educational event will discuss three critical problems: graduation rate from high school, attending post-secondary institutions, and completing degrees or certification and offer one large-scale solution of starting and rewarding savings accounts early in a child’s life.

Then on November 2, the RAISE Texas Summit, “Building a Savings Culture in Texas” will highlight our partners’ successes this past year and provide first-hand updates and lessons learned on how to expand savings through new and existing products and programs. Registration and more information will be provided this summer. Save the date and plan to join us for these important events!

Social Media Campaign Update

First, we wanted to take a moment to sincerely thank all of you who helped RAISE Texas last month by joining us in our recent social media campaign. We had a modest goal for May... to increase our respective "likes"/"followers" on Facebook/Twitter by 50 each. And because of you, we are proud to say we exceeded our goals! We now have 166 "likes" on Facebook and 212 "followers" on Twitter. Step by step... we're doing it!

Over the past month, we've really enjoyed connecting with you in those spaces and we're looking forward to expanding our collective ability to create valuable conversations and resources online.

Feel free to continue to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter and invite us to connect with you.

Again, thank you. Our ability to better provide financial and resource support as well as technical expertise to low- and moderate-income Texans is a team effort. We're all in this together!

Texas Policy Update

For this recently completed regular legislative session we are pleased to announce that 7 important asset-building related bills made it to Governor Perry’s desk. The Governor has 20 days to sign, veto, or not do anything with each of the bills. If the Governor signs the bill or does not do anything, then the bill will become law. If the Governor vetoes the bill, then it will not become law. RAISE Texas will provide more details on the bills that become law in our next monthly e-newsletter. The following bills are on the Governor’s desk:

Payday and Auto-Title Lending

HB 2592 CSO Rep. Truitt
Relating to notice and disclosure requirements for credit services organizations regarding charges and consumer borrowing.
HB 2594 CSO Rep. Truitt
Relating to the registration and regulation of credit services organizations that obtain for consumers certain extensions of credit; providing a penalty.

College Savings Accounts

HB 3708 Rep. Hochberg
Relating to measures regarding high school completion and enrollment in higher education. Senator Watson added an amendment to this bill that relates to the administration of the Texas Save and Match Program.

Financial Education

SB 290 Financial Literacy Senator Watson
Relating to including a personal financial literacy component in certain public school mathematics courses.
HB 34 Post Secondary Education Reps. Branch and Lewis
Relating to including in the public high school curriculum instruction in methods of paying for postsecondary education and training.
HB 399 Financial Literacy Rep. Castro
Relating to requiring general academic teaching institutions to offer personal financial literacy training.

Asset Building and Foster Children

HB 2170 Credit Report Rep. Raymond
Relating to assisting foster children in obtaining and understanding the child's credit report.

Resources and Grant Opportunities

Financial Education Grants Available

The National Credit Union Foundation is providing financial education grants to support credit union programs for the purpose of increasing the capacity of underserved low-wealth markets. Credit unions and organizations that partner with credit unions are eligible to apply. Applications are due by June 30, 2011. For more information and to review the funding guidelines please click here.

New Report on the Effects of Tax Credits on the Rural Poor

The USDA Economic Research Service released a report that discusses the impact of recent expansions to income tax credit programs, including EITC and CTC, on low-and moderate-income households in rural areas. Findings from this report show that EITC and CTC have been a major source of income for low-income workers and families. Read the entire report Federal Tax Policies and Low-Income Rural Households.

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