P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 2015
AUSTIN – The Texas Senate today unanimously approved SB 200 by Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, the Sunset legislation for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). The bill, which reorganizes Texas' five health and human services agencies, passed by an unanimous 31-0 vote. It now moves to the Texas House of Representatives for further consideration.
"Our number one goal with this realignment is to make it easier for citizens to navigate what is currently a broken system that no longer reflects the reality of how we deliver services," said Senator Nelson. "Senate Bill 200 creates a more efficient enterprise with a clearly defined point of entry that will better meet the needs of our most vulnerable citizens."
- Creates a Policy and Performance Office at HHSC to facilitate system-wide improvements;
- Establishes the Transition Legislative Oversight Committee (TLOC) with 4 Senate members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, 4 House members appointed by the Speaker, and 3 public members appointed by the Governor;
- Merges regulatory functions spread out among three agencies at HHSC in 2017;
- Creates in statute the following divisions at HHSC: Medical and Social Services; Regulatory; Administrative; Facilities; and the Office of Inspector General;
- Moves client services, including women's and mental health currently at the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to HHSC in 2016; and
- Moves Medicaid programs from DSHS and the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) to HHSC in 2016.
The Senate also approved floor amendment by Senator Nelson that:
- Takes a graduated approach to consolidating administrative functions that allows flexibility for independent agencies to retain critical support resources;
- Abolishes and transfers Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) functions to HHSC in 2016;
- Abolishes and transfers DADS functions to HHSC in 2017;
- Transfers state hospital oversight from DSHS and state supported living centers from DADS to HHSC in 2017;
- Continues the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and DSHS as independent agencies until 2023;
- Directs the Executive Commissioner to recommend to TLOC, which would in turn make a recommendation to the 86th Legislature in 2019 whether DSHS and DFPS should remain independent;
- Clarifies that the statewide intake system remains at DFPS; and
- Directs the Executive Commissioner to submit a transition plan to TLOC in 2016 that includes details to consolidate administrative, regulatory, institutions, and client services across the system in a graduated approach, resulting in the transfer of all functions of DARS and DADS.