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February, 2024
Legislative Report

Dion White, Secretary, AAIDD Texas Chapter

The 88th Texas Legislative Session is now over and the 89th Legislative Session will start on January 14th of 2025.  The time between sessions is very important to convey and educate legislators on all aspects and concerns with our current IDD system of care.  It is imperative that your local legislators understand what the term IDD means and understands the current concerns those individuals are facing and what action needs to be taken.  This can only happen through a state wide effort of all stakeholders becoming involved and reaching out to all local leaders from the legislators down to city and county leadership.   Here are a few points to help with this action:

  1. Find out who your local leaders are.  This can be done by going to the website Texas Legislature Online.  There you can find out who your local legislators are and how to contact them.  You could also go to your city government webpage and get information on your local community leaders such as the mayor, city council and county commissioners.

  2. Be concise with your information.   Prepare in advance of what your main focus will be as you visit with staff from that office.   By being prepared you insure your concerns are understood and you are also more ready for questions during that time.

  3. Have handout available.   It is always a good idea to have prepared documents to leave with the office’s so that staff can go back and read to help their understanding of concerns.

  4. Follow up to insure understanding.   It is a good idea to get an email at your time of visit and then follow up with staff a few days later to insure they understand everything and to also allow a time for them to ask further questions if needed.

  5. Maintain contact is very important.   I recommend contacting offices at least every 3 months for short amounts of time to keep your concerns in the forefront.  This will be increasingly important as the next session gets closer.

This is the best time to contact leaders and insure there is a good understanding of all relevant issues.  By all of us taking this action we will help progress the IDD system of care into a more positive direction for those who are in need of the services.

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