Both the Texas House of Representatives and the Senate Finance Committee have approved additional funding for CASA programs, but at different levels.
The Texas House approved HB 1, the state budget bill, on March 27, and it includes an additional $2.25 million in annual funding for CASA programs. This is the amount that Texas CASA requested, and it would increase state-appropriated funding from approximately $13.2 million to nearly $15.5 million for both years of the 2020-2021 biennium. After approval by the full House, HB 1 moved on to the Senate.
The Senate Finance Committee approved the recommendations of its budget workgroups on March 28 and is expected to send their version of HB 1 to the full Senate on April 3. Funding for CASA programs in the approved recommendation would increase annual funding by $1.25 million, $1 million less than funding levels approved by the House. Texas CASA expects the full Senate to approve funding at this level, and the differences between the House and the Senate will ultimately be decided by the 10-member conference committee on HB 1.
Texas CASA’s goal will be to support funding at the level approved by the House during conference committee deliberations.