April 2022

Good afternoon,


The month of April is bringing not only nicer weather but also more engagement opportunities at TRA and with the legislature. Next Tuesday, April 19th, TRA will host a members-only webinar focusing on the interim charges issued by Speaker Phelan and Lt. Governor Patrick. During this hour-long conversation, we will cover what interim charges and hearings are, the specific charges TRA will engage on, and what it will mean for the next legislative session. If you have not already done so, RSVP here to receive your link to the webinar.


In addition to our new monthly webinar series, we are actively working on the final details for TRA Forum 2022. While the official announcement will come later this month, you should expect an outstanding lineup of speakers and panelists this  September.


While I have visited with many of our members since joining TRA a few weeks ago, I hope you will reach out if we have not yet had an opportunity to connect. These conversations allow me to have a better understanding of the challenges our industry is facing as a whole and makes our association a stronger and more effective advocate in the process.


John McCord

Executive Director, Texas Retailers Association

This Month's Organization Update


April brings even more news and opportunities for TRA to engage in the legislative process with Lt. Governor Dan Patrick releasing the Senate’s Interim Charges earlier this week. To take a deeper dive into both the House and Senate Interim Charges and to discuss the process along with the association’s plan of action, TRA will be hosting a members only call on April 19th so please RSVP for the calendar/zoom information. With fewer members and committees in the Senate (compared to the House) there may be less charges but they are comprehensive and cover many issues important to the retail industry. A complete list of the Senate Interim Charges can be found HERE. Please review these charges and join our call on the 19th to discuss in more detail and bring any additional topics to our attention.


Committees are already posting hearings so expect to see notices from the TRA team with requests for your expertise and participation in those hearings. This process truly sets the stage for the 88th Texas Legislature that is not too far in the future. Given the broad nature of our businesses, this is a great chance to educate and inform our friends in the Capitol of our priorities, positions and concerns as they craft ideas and legislation leading into January.


A few highlights for the Senate Interim Charges that we want to make you aware of follow:


Business and Commerce Committee: Supply Chains: Examine the causes and impacts of recent supply chain disruptions on the Texas economy and individual industries. Study the factors that weaken links in the supply chain and the extent the pandemic has exposed those vulnerabilities. Recommend actions to strengthen the supply chain in Texas and mitigate disruptions in the future.

Cybersecurity: Review current state and federal laws regarding cybersecurity protections and requirements for local governments, state agencies, and critical industries of our state. Make recommendations for legislation to improve resilience and protection against cybersecurity attacks and ensure the privacy protection of the citizens of Texas.


Finance Committee: Property Tax Relief: Examine and recommend ways to reduce Texans' property tax burden. Review and report on proposals to use or dedicate state revenues in excess of the state spending limit to eliminate the school district maintenance and operations property tax.

Inflation: Review and report on the effect inflation is having on the business community and state government, including state salaries, retiree benefits, the state economy, and cost of state services.


Tax Exemptions: Examine Texans' current tax exemptions and report on whether adjustments are merited because of inflation or any other factors.


Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee: Economic Development Programs: Review the programs in Chapters 380 and 381 of the Local Government Code. Consider the benefits of each program in generating economic development. Make recommendations for improvements to Chapters 380 and 381 to increase transparency and accountability and the effectiveness of the program,


State Affairs Committee: Public Safety: Study the impact of how the internal policies of some district and county attorneys' offices to not prosecute certain crimes impact the further occurrence of those crimes and public safety.

Privacy and Transparency: Review the current state laws that protect and secure individuals' biometric identifiers. Explore ways to protect against the use of biometric identifiers for unintended purposes without an individual's consent and make recommendations to the Senate.


Water Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee: Meat Packing Facilities: Study the need for additional meat packing facilities in Texas. Evaluate and report on the increased cost to Texas ranchers and revenue lost in the Texas economy when meatpacking facilities are utilized outside of Texas.


       WIC/SNAP Update

  • Texas SNAP is determining the impact of COVID on students who receive free or reduced lunch at school. Texas SNAP has been working with the school districts to identify students impacted. This program is called P-EBT.  For this school year, the impact will be far less than last school year. However, once Texas SNAP determines the number of students, payments will be loaded onto the Lone Star cards. These payments will be made late May for the 1st semester.

  • WIC recently updated the not to exceed retail price amounts due to inflation. Click here to see the EBT list of Not To Exceed Amounts that became effective 4/1/2022.
  • Texas SNAP continues to maximize benefits called emergency supplements due to COVID.  The total payout has been over $5.3 billion with 96% already spent.  This means about $182 million still on Lone Star Cards to be spent.  In addition, the State approved emergency supplements for April totaling $270 million.

  • Alternative Formula brands are extended until May 31 to ensure Texas WIC participants continue to receive safe formula during the Similac formula recalls, alternative brands have been extended through May 31, 2022. During this time there will be no sanctions for redeeming different brands or sizes of formula. Texas WIC continues to encourage grocers to use the maximum flexibility possible. Click here for more on this.

Organized Retail Crime Task Force in Dallas/Ft. Worth Area

A group of retailers in the Dallas/Ft. Worth market have established an Organized Retail Task Force to work with local law enforcement and the county attorney to combat organized retail crime.


The Dallas Police department has assigned an officer to work with the committee establishing a direct communication with law enforcement and retailers.

The next meeting of the ORC Task Force will be held May 19, 2022 in Dallas, TX. Contact Matt Rosteet, Kroger Loss Prevention if you have any questions.


Urgent Update: Additional Extension of WIC Temporary Cash Value Benefits through September 30

The increase of cash value benefits (CVB) has been extended for WIC participants through September 30, 2022. This means participants can continue to purchase more fruits and vegetables at authorized Texas WIC vendors.

Texas WIC announced in a December 10  Vendor News Flash that the temporary extension would expire on March 31, 2022. However, on March 15, the President signed the Omnibus Spending Package into law which authorizes the extension of the enhanced CVB benefit through September 30, 2022.


FMI Releases Results Of ‘2022 Power Of Produce Report’

The farmer from down the street skillfully cultivating a lettuce patch, community field workers carefully inspecting the ripeness of strawberries and clean water from a local reservoir hydrating a nearby apple orchard – these are just some of the images conjured in the minds of grocery shoppers upon seeing the product claim, “locally grown.”

Upcoming Webinar

Texas Retailers is hosting a Zoom Webinar all about the Interim Committee Hearings going on this year! RSVP to attend below!


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Member Benefits with SW Financial

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Upcoming Events

The Texas Retailers Forum is back soon, please stay tuned for more updates!


Contact Info:

Texas Retailers Association

13706 Research Blvd, Ste 314


[email protected]