The Texas 85th Legislative Session
Dion White, Center for Life Resources
AAIDD Texas Chapter Treasurer
The 85th Legislative session has officially closed. During this session the House filed 4,333 bills of which 654 passed. The Senate filed 2,298 of which 485 passed. In total 1,139 bills passed and headed to the Governor for signature. One action item that came out of this session was an anticipated 21% cut to Medicaid reimbursement rates for Community First Choice Personal Attendant and Habilitation services for HCS and TxHmL waiver recipients. This was directed by the 85th Legislature in the FY 2018-2019 state budget. These rate reductions became effective August 1, 2017. In accordance with legislative direction, the reimbursement rate reductions exempt Consumer Directed Services. In addition there is no new funding to reduce the waitlist for community services. There were some key bills that did pass which will help Texans with IDD.
SB 436 Pertains to the Governor appointed Special Education Continuing Advisory Committee. This committee ensures individuals with disabilities, parents and advocates have the opportunity to provide input in special education issues to the Texas Education Agency.
SB 160 Removes the 8.5% indicator that capped special education enrollment from the TEA monitoring requirements.
SB 2027 Will analyze and study what meaningful employment training opportunities exist for people with IDD in Texas and report findings to the Legislature
SB 748 Updates the transition handbook for school aged students.
HB 3295 Extends the IDD Managed Care Pilot by one year to 2019. Postpones the carve-in of Texas Home Living into managed care until the pilot is completed and the data reviewed. The date for carve-in is 2020.
HB 3292 Continues Medicaid medical assistance for some Texans with IDD if they have a temporary pay increase for a month and helps to prevent people getting wrongfully denied Medicaid services.
By working together and staying in touch with legislators we can become a part of the strong system of supports to help IDD services across our great state of Texas.