AUSTIN (KXAN) – The Texas House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would require the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to maintain a supply of transportation bags, like duffle bags and suitcases, for children in foster care. 

House Rep. John Bucy III (D-Austin) filed the bill – called Bags of Love – to ensure children being removed from their homes have something to transport items. The bill text states that the luggage becomes the child’s property once it is given to them and cannot be taken back from the department or a foster guardian.

“Texas foster kids deserve dignity and respect,” Bucy said. “The least we can do is ensure that they have a bag to call their own. This bill helps prevent additional stress, trauma and stigma for already-vulnerable kids. I’m grateful to my colleagues for their support.”

“Too many of Texas’ foster kids are too often only given a trash bag to pack up their life. With the passage of  ‘Bags of Love,’ that ends today,” he continued. 

Rep. Josey Garcia (D-San Antonio), who was once a foster child, sponsored the bill. 

“I was one of the children who this bill will impact,” Garcia said.

“As I entered the foster care system, I was given a trash bag to hold my most precious belongings, which reinforced the idea that I did not matter. Today I am grateful for the opportunity to joint-author H.B. 3765, which will help our foster children know that they are valued and will be cared for. They are worth much more than a trash bag,” she said.

The Bags of Love bill has now been sent over to the Senate side of the Texas legislature. It has not been announced when or if it will vote on the bill.