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Urban Farming Legislation

The 82nd legislative session was a landmark for urban agriculture in Texas. Through HB 2994, HB 2996, and HB 2997 (Miles/Estes), the Legislature opened up new directions for future work on the related issues of hunger, nutrition, economic development and local environmental planning.

Texas has one of the largest “grocery gaps” in the nation, with the fewest number of supermarkets per capita of any state. Texas’ major cities, including Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, are also underserved compared to most of the nation’s major metropolitan areas. Strangely, our growing obesity problem is related to this. People who have food access difficulties must resort to the processed foods found in convenient stores. Currently, these processed foods are also much cheaper than healthy and fresh food.

HB 2994 supports innovative urban farming technologies and research advancements through an innovation loan program. HB 2996 creates the Texas Urban Agriculture Innovation Authority to create and expand urban agriculture projects in Texas. HB 2997 creates an urban farming pilot program and the Select Committee on Urban Farming to expand agricultural projects in Texas communities. 
 
Ultimately, these bills promote urban agriculture business development and increase the availability of fresh foods in underserved neighborhoods. Policies like these give Texans access to healthy & affordable foods. They also create jobs, increase economic investment in low-income areas, and revitalize neighborhoods.
Houses of worship can leverage these bills to start their own urban agriculture projects. Texas Impact looks forward to providing congregations information about participating in pilot projects and more as details become available.
 

Here's How They Voted On Final Passage of HB 2994:

HOUSE

Passed unanimously on Local Calendar.

SENATE

AYES - 27

Carona(R); Davis, Wendy(D); Deuell(R); Duncan(R); Ellis(D); Eltife(R); Estes(R); Fraser(R); Gallegos(D); Harris(R); Hinojosa(D); Huffman(R); Jackson, Mike(R); Lucio(D); Nelson(R); Nichols(R); Ogden(R); Patrick, Dan(R); Rodriguez(D); Seliger(R); Uresti(D); Van de Putte(D); Watson(D); Wentworth(R); West(D); Whitmire(D); Zaffirini(D)

NAYS - 3

Birdwell(R); Hegar(R); Shapiro(R)

PRESENT-NOT-VOTING - 0

ABSENT - 1

Williams(R)

Here's How They Voted On Final Passage of HB 2996:

HOUSE

Passed unanimously on Local Calendar.

SENATE

AYES - 25
Carona(R); Davis, Wendy(D); Deuell(R); Duncan(R); Ellis(D); Eltife(R); Estes(R); Fraser(R); Gallegos(D); Harris(R); Hinojosa(D); Huffman(R); Lucio(D); Nelson(R); Nichols(R); Ogden(R); Rodriguez(D); Seliger(R); Uresti(D); Van de Putte(D); Watson(D); Wentworth(R); West(D); Whitmire(D); Zaffirini(D).

NAYS - 5.

Birdwell(R); Hegar(R); Jackson, Mike(R); Patrick, Dan(R); Shapiro(R).

PRESENT-NOT-VOTING - 0.

ABSENT - 1.

Williams(R).

Here's How They Voted On Final Passage of HB 2997:

HOUSE

Passed unanimously on Local Calendar.

SENATE

AYES - 25

Carona(R); Davis, Wendy(D); Deuell(R); Duncan(R); Ellis(D); Eltife(R); Estes(R); Fraser(R); Gallegos(D); Harris(R); Hinojosa(D); Huffman(R); Lucio(D); Nelson(R); Nichols(R); Ogden(R); Rodriguez(D); Seliger(R); Uresti(D); Van de Putte(D); Watson(D); Wentworth(R); West(D); Whitmire(D); Zaffirini(D)

NAYS - 5

Birdwell(R); Hegar(R); Jackson, Mike(R); Patrick, Dan(R); Shapiro(R)

PRESENT-NOT-VOTING - 0

ABSENT - 1

Williams(R)