(May 30, 2023) – The Jewish Federation of Greater Houston led lobbying efforts in the recent legislative session in partnership with five other Texas Federations. The lobbying efforts directly resulted in the Texas Legislature appropriating $1 million in each of the next two state fiscal years to supplement the amount of funding available for the Federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) which helps organizations fortify their security. This program provides grants that are often awarded to enhance security measures at nonprofit institutions such as synagogues, churches, mosques, and temples. The appropriation was made during the recent 2023 Regular Session of the Texas Legislature. The additional state funding for the NSGP will supplement the existing $10 million the state annually receives from FEMA for these grants. The new grant funding will also be administered by the Public Safety Office of the Office of Governor Greg Abbott. The competitive grants through NSGP are used for items such as fencing, cameras, security doors, and training to protect facilities from attacks. The grants are for up to $150,000 each, and they are awarded to nonprofits that make applications to the Office of Governor Greg Abbott. Six Jewish Federations located in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Fort Worth, and El Paso hired the Austin office of Husch Blackwell Strategies – a national lobby firm – to lead the effort to obtain the appropriation. A coordinated grass roots effort, including extensive support from Houston-area clergy and lay leaders, contacted legislators to make the case for the grant funding.
Successful Federation Advocacy Efforts Result in Additional State Security Dollars