The Texas 87th Legislative Session
Dion White, Center for Life Resources
AAIDD Texas Chapter Board Member
This has been a very unusual legislative session in Texas. As of May 28, 2021, 9,771 bills have been filed by members of the Texas Legislature. It is also expected that a special session will be called to complete more items which need to be addressed. The primary focus regarding issues related to Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities was maintaining current funding levels. This past year has been extremely difficult for everyone across the State as we dealt with the effects of the pandemic.
Some general highlights of this session dealt with access and expansion of tele-health services and interest list criteria, among others.
HB 5 relates to access and expansion of tele-health services through an increase in broadband services across the entire State. This bill was pending Senate approval.
HB 2831 relates to the confinement in county jail of persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The Senate passed the bill on 5/27.
HB 3720 relates to interest lists and eligibility criteria for certain Medicaid waiver programs. This legislation was pending in committee.
SB 49 relates to a written report regarding a defendant suspected of having a mental illness or an intellectual disability. It was last in conference committee.
SB 1808 relates to home and community support services licensing requirements. The bill passed.
Since the last day of the session was May 31st; some bills were passed on the last day while others were not able to make it out of committee. I encourage you to research these bills and see if they are destined to become actionable items or will possibly be addressed at the next session. A great resource to track specific bills is Texas Legislature Online.