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Relating to services provided by colonia self-help centers and a
study on colonias in this state.
No fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 1301 would expand the scope and purpose of colonia self-help centers to now include assistance in securing employment and professional skills development. The bill would also establish an interim committee to study colonias in this state and provide a report to the legislature no later than September 1, 2022.
The statutory purpose of colonia self-help centers is to "assist individuals and families of low income and very low income to finance, refinance, construct, improve, or maintain a safe, suitable home in the colonias' designated service area or in another area the department has determined is suitable."
Colonia self-help centers are operated by local nonprofit organizations or local community action agencies contracted by the state.
Texas Action is opposed to HB 1301 on the principle of limited government. Expanding public assistance programs is inconsistent with limited government and is outside of the core function of state government. Furthermore, the nonprofits and action agencies that run these self help centers can and should raise private funds for the endeavor.