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Relating to standards for nutrition, physical activity, and screen time for certain child-care facilities and homes.
According to the Legislative Budget Board, no fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 952 would require child-care service providers to meet the minimum standards consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics standards for physical activity and screen time, as well as the nutrition standards in the Child and Adult Care Food Program administered by the Department of Agriculture.
The committee substitute would include an authorization for the Health and Human Services Commission, upon determining that the economic impact of requiring a day-care center or registered family home to comply with these standards is sufficiently great to make compliance impractical, to require the center or home to meet the guidelines through an alternative method.
Texas Action is neutral on SB 952 because it does not expand regulation on private businesses; it merely updates existing minimum standards for screen time, nutrition, and physical activity in child-care facilities. In fact, there are currently over 100 pages of regulation on these issues.
However, we are vehemently opposed to this type of micromanaging regulation in general, since it is not the proper role of government to regulate these areas to this level of minute detail. Nutritional guidelines and screen time standards are constantly evolving, and we would prefer government at all levels to stay away from these issues. Numerous studies have called into question the U.S. government's official dietary guidelines enshrined in the food pyramid, and there are concerns that available studies on screen time are too limited to give any definitive answers, including the recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics (on which this legislation is largely based).
Because SB 952 does not expand these burdensome regulations, but alters and clarifies existing ones, we remain neutral.