88th Legislative Session: Funding Update
Good Afternoon, Everyone,
We wanted to provide a brief update on our appropriations efforts from the 88th Legislative Session as we wind down the week! The state budget has been signed by both chambers and sent to the Governor for signature, so while we await that final piece we want to share an overview on funding pertaining to family violence services as shown in HB 1. Before I do, we want to underscore that all we do here on the Policy team each session is fueled by YOUR membership so thank you for being a member and if you are not an individual member consider doing so here. 😊
We also want to say that the historic appropriations wins I will outline below are thanks to so many of you and your teams. From the wonderful folks who testified (special thanks to Ft. Bend County Women’s Center and Denton County Friends of the Family), to those of you who made key calls or tapped on board members, none of this would be possible without your support. I would also be remiss if we did not thank the teams at your agency who collect and submit data- we know this is no one’s favorite task but it allows us to tell the story of all you and your teams do to stand alongside survivors each day so TCFV can convey that impact as we seek funding.
With that in mind we are thrilled to say that we were successful in securing each of our appropriations priorities!! This includes the following:
Battering Intervention and Prevention Program (BIPP), Article V, Texas Department of Criminal Justice:
BIPP funds will increase via a change in the rider (riders are instructions to the state budget to add or direct funds) from $3.5M in the prior funding cycles to $5M over the FY 2024-2025 biennium. This increase of $1.5M is the largest we have received in recent history and was initially championed by Senator Hinojosa and Representative Allison.
Family Violence Services, Article II, Health and Human Services Commission:
Another exciting win in these key funds! The final budget bill had level funding in the base of $78.7M AND Rider 143! Rider 143 (authored by Representative Howard) added $4.65 million each year of the FY 2024-2025 budget to the funding line for family violence services, or $9.3M total. This would support $6.3 million in enhanced services funding (economic, housing, mental health and legal services), but also for the first time ever $3 million in prevention and community education funding. With prevention also being added into state code this session we are elated to see this work codified AND put in the state budget!
Family Violence Services Funding
This funding means that the total for funding for Family Violence Services (less Federal relief funds) was $88M coming out of the 88th session. TCFV looks forward to discussions with HHSC on potentially easier routes to distribute these funds, rather than procurement, due to key shifts in the rider language.
Domestic Violence High Risk Teams (DVHRT), Article I, Office of the Attorney General:
DVHRT funds were appropriated at level amounts for the FY 2024-2025 biennium at $600,000. TCFV looks forward to opening an RFP in the later summer/early fall for communities to apply for these funds.
Victims of Crime Act (Texas VOCA Fix) Funds, Article I, Trusteed Programs within the Office of the Governor:
In coalition with the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA), and strongly led by Child Advocacy Centers of Texas (CACTX), a $115M infusion of general revenue funds into the Texas VOCA fix was secured via SB 30, the supplemental appropriations bill. These funds will be for the 2024-2025 biennium for VOCA grants to help offset solvency issues at the Federal level that continue. Distribution methodology is not available at this time and we will need to continue monitoring the federal VOCA funds for future solvency, but we are thrilled to see this interim solution!!
If you have questions, please feel free to reach out. We know these funds will open up doors for survivors all over our state so thank you for your membership and support that underpinned the success of these efforts!
Moly Voyles, Director of Policy, and the TCFV Policy Team