AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Legislature has approved a $1.9 billion package of tax incentives to help foster care homes and other foster care facilities stay open and stay competitive with private facilities.
But it’s also made it more difficult for some foster care families to keep their children.
The package was approved by a House panel on Wednesday, and it goes to Gov.
Greg Abbott, who is expected to sign it into law later this week.
The tax credits, which are meant to help those families who lost their foster care home because of the floods, are expected to help the state’s foster care systems expand and get more foster care parents on their waiting lists.
“These are things that we’ve talked about, but there are many things that are missing,” said Rep. Scott Straus, R-Corpus Christi.
“It’s going to require a lot of coordination and coordination with foster care agencies to do the things we need to do.”
He said that would require a significant shift in how the state does foster care and to get it right.
The Senate passed the bill last week with bipartisan support.
The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors.
The bill also includes $2.5 million to hire more foster homes and to help counties make changes to their child welfare policies to better help children in foster care.
The House also passed a $250 million bill to provide $20 million for the Texas Department of Children and Family Services to make foster care programs more efficient.
The state has more than $30 billion in revenue that could be used to fund foster care, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
The bill also provides $6 million to provide additional financial assistance to foster care services to families and children who have lost their homes because of floods.