Dion White, Center for Life Resources
AAIDD Texas Chapter President
The 83rd Legislative Session at the Texas Capital has come to a close. The smoke has not yet settled entirely and many people will now begin the task of understanding and implementing new laws and regulations which affect our service delivery. Governor Perry called the Legislature back to work for a 30-day special session on redistricting. The state budget was completed on Sunday, May 26, 2013 as the 83rd Legislative Session neared its close. The Texas House approved the FY 2014-15 budget bill and sent it to Governor Perry on a vote of 118-29. There were many pieces of legislation passed which will impact our services across the State. There is a focus on savings through Medicaid. These bills would save the state an estimated $51 million in the next biennium by curbing Medicaid fraud, transitioning acute and long term care services to Medicaid managed care and expanding behavioral health services in managed care.
With the legislative items mentioned, in addition to the many other bills passed, this year’s convention could be extremely beneficial to attend. This year’s convention is a wonderful opportunity to network with our peers to help us understand what implications will be felt in our service delivery system. By attending our convention it will help people become better prepared to adapt for new rules and regulations. It will also provide opportunities to build new friendships with others in our field to use as a resource and someone to help when needed. There is usually strength in numbers and this year’s convention is a good opportunity to make our entire Texas system stronger by working together for the core goals we share in our field. I would highly encourage you to attend this year’s annual convention in Houston. You will have great sessions to attend and wonderful opportunities to strengthen or develop new friendships. I am looking forward to seeing you at this year’s convention. I know it will be worth your while.