Return to the Latest

Young Invincibles in the 86th Texas Legislative Session

Young Invincibles (YI) is a nonpartisan policy research and advocacy nonprofit organization that works to amplify the voices of young people ages 18-34 in the political process. Young Advocates, the young adult leadership cohort at the heart of Texas YI, championed policies across college affordability, student loan debt, supports for postsecondary success, workforce development, healthcare, and civic engagement. Through in-depth research, direct legislative testimony, story collection, and meetings with all 181 Texas legislative offices, Young Advocates drove impact on key issues most pressing for young people. 

Championed…

Student loan borrowers: YI advocated to protect student loan borrowers in default from losing their professional license, supporting a successful bipartisan initiative to ensure student loan borrowers such as teachers, barbers, and truck drivers stay in the workplace. Throughout the legislative session, we conducted story collection, legislative visits, and public testimony which resulted in the successful passage of SB 37, contributing to nationwide efforts to protect student loan consumers.

College affordability: YI supported state investment in higher education through Open Educational Resources (OER), which provide no-cost learning materials across the state, and the TEXAS Grant program, to assist in making higher education more affordable for Texas students. YI testified on the importance of textbook affordability and courses that use OER, and worked with legislative offices to increase support for state investment in need-based aid resulting in an additional investment of $250,000 in OER and $40 million in the TEXAS Grant. Watch our testimonies: Senate Committee on Finance- Higher Education, House Committee on Appropriations 

Amplified…

Student-parent voices: YI’s research on the experience of Texas student-parents led to groundbreaking legislation introduced to support students parenting children under 18 years old. YI championed an initiative to appoint student-parent liaisons at every public college campus in Texas, a critical support to ensure student-parents are made aware of and have access to services toward degree completion and that institutions collect data on this important population. Young Advocates testified on the importance of student liaisons, collected and shared stories from student-parents, and spoke directly with legislative offices, starting a critical dialogue in Texas. Watch our testimony and read our one-pager.  

Student voice in work-based learning: Work-based learning is an effective education model that offers a joint return on investment for employers and students, and is integral to workforce pathways in Texas. YI supported the establishment of a work-based learning task force that would have advised the state on steps to increase work-based learning opportunities, remove barriers to growth, and provide guidance on aligning public/private funds. We advocated for young adult participation on the task force to ensure that student voices are part of shaping this critical conversation and testified on the work-based learning successes of young Texans.  

Supported…

Healthcare expansion for young adults: YI advocated for expanding healthcare access for young people, including auto-enrollment into Healthy Texas Women for 19-year olds aging out of Medicaid, state Medicaid expansion, and continuous coverage. In addition to legislative meetings, Young Advocates testified on Healthy Texas Women auto-enrollment and spoke on the importance of Medicaid expansion in increasing access to healthcare for young adults. Watch our testimonies:  House Committee on Appropriations, House Committee on Public Health  

Voting access on college campuses: Alongside efforts to increase voting access for young people on college campuses, Young Advocates promoted the implementation of campus polling stations at higher education institutions with more than 10,000 students. Advocates contributed to a Civic Engagement Advocacy Day in which they spoke publicly about their campus voting experiences and the importance of voting access for college students. 

For questions and to engage further: 

Fedora Galasso  
Southern Regional Director, Young Invincibles
fedora.galasso@younginvincibles.org

Download a PDF version here.