The Texas 86th Legislative Session
Dion White, Center for Life Resources
AAIDD Texas Chapter Treasurer
As the 86th Texas Legislative session is nearing the last few weeks there is a lot of action happening as bills try to get through the process to become law. This is true for many bills that impact IDD services and supports in Texas either directly or indirectly. There has been emphasis with day vocational and habilitation services throughout the state and how those services may be impacted. There is a-lot of focus on community integration with services and employment. There are a few recommendation through legislation that looks at different strategies to increase integration. There continues to be a push for increased funding for services and supports and this need is more important now than ever before. Texas continues to grow in population and it is important that funding increases with this growth across the State. Early intervention through programs such as ECI are extremely important. The funding for these early intervention services has decreased over the past 10 years and now there is a concern due to a lack of providers which has negative consequences for families across the State. There is some good news in this area as there is a proposed increased funding for Early Intervention and hopefully it will remain in the system at close of the session. There is also a need to look into the effects criminal justice outcomes and their association to individuals in our system of IDD services and supports. In the next newsletter we will have closure on many of these issues and the impact they will have on our system listing concerns and benefits.