Food Policy (Hunger & Access)

2019 Legislative Session bills that are relevant to food policy research taking place at the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living can be viewed below.

Food Policy (Hunger & Access)

Bill # Author Status Brief Description Past Bills (2017)
HB 97 State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez

Filed - 11/12/18

Adds fruit and vegetable production to the list of farming activities that would allow land to be considered in agricultural use. Multi-use land will be redefined to contribute to "intensity" if usage across several categories, including fruit and vegetable production and small-scale animal husbandry.
HB 251 State Rep. Jessica Farrar

Filed - 11/12/18

Excludes cars and school accounts from being considered as assets when determining eligibility for SNAP benefits. Similar to HB 1533. Failed, passed committee but did not receive House vote.
HB 285 State Rep. Drew Springer

Filed - 11/12/18

Restricts the commission from requesting an exemption from certain work requirements around SNAP eligibility. Similar to HB 1126 (2017).  Failed to pass, did not receive a committee hearing.
HB 605 State Rep. Shawn Thierry

Filed - 1/2/19

Creates a tax credit for opening a grocery store or a healthy corner store in a food desert located in a low-to-moderate income area and accepts WIC. Companion Bill SB 574 Similar to HB 3299 (2017).  Failed to pass; did not receive committee hearing.
SB 574 State Sen. Borris L. Miles

Filed - 2/1/19

Creates a tax credit for opening a grocery store or a healthy corner store in a food desert located in a low-to-moderate income area and accepts WIC. Companion Bill HB 605 Similar to HB 3299 (2017).  Failed to pass; did not receive committee hearing.
HB 644 State Rep. Gary VanDeaver

Filed - 1/4/19

Adds "pickled fruit or vegetables" to the list of foods allowed to be treated as cottage foods.
SB 236 State Sen. Jane Nelson

Filed - 12/13/18

Request that the General Land Office develop a plan for identifying and using underused state land for community foods gardens by September 1, 2020.
HB 718 State Rep. Eddie Lucio III

Filed - 1/10/19

Requires that vending machines owned by the state or under the charge and control of a state agency carry only foods that meet minimum nutrition standards such as lower sodium (480mg), no trans fats, low-fat or skim milk, 100% fruit juice, unsweetened vegetable juice, lower fats and sugars. Similar to HB 646 (2017), which did not receive a committee hearing, and HB 269 (2015), which failed, left pending in committee.
HB 1017 State Rep. Armando "Mando" Martinez

Filed - 1/23/19

Requires schools with 50% or more students eligible for free & reduced lunch to donate food to a nonprofit organization to be distributed to students.
HB 1218 State Rep. Stephanie Klick

Filed - 1/30/19

Requests that the state establish a schedule for distributing SNAP benefits that allows for even distribution over a 28-day period. Companion Bill SB 582
SB 582 State Sen. Charles Perry

Filed - 2/1/19

Requests that the state establish a schedule for distributing SNAP benefits that allows for even distribution over a 28-day period. Companion Bill HB 1218
HB 1252 State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez Filed - 1/31/19 Establishes a Grocery Access Investment Fund that would provide loan funds for financing the construction, expansion or rehabilitation of grocery store, mobile markets, or farm stands in low- to moderate-income areas of Texas.
HB 1250 State Rep. Dade Phelan Filed - 1/31/19 Requires that Lone Star Cards include photos, Fraud Hotline info, and the SNAP website. Companion Bill SB 671
SB 671 State Sen. Brandon Creighton Filed - 2/6/19 Requires that Lone Star Cards include photos, Fraud Hotline info, and the SNAP website. Companion Bill HB 1250
HB 1694 State Rep. Stan Lambert Filed - 2/12/19 Exempts "cottage" food from permitting requirements for the purpose of giving samples or providing a cooking demonstration. Companion Bill SB 789
SB 789 State Sen. Nathan Johnson Filed - 2/12/19 Exempts "cottage" food from permitting requirements for the purpose of giving samples or providing a cooking demonstration. Companion Bill HB 1694