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Senator Jane Nelson: District 12
Senator Jane Nelson
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 2015
Contact: Megan Hanson
512-463-0112
SENATE PASSES SB 200 REORGANIZING TEXAS' HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

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."

SB 200:

  • 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.
SENATOR JANE NELSON represents District 12, including portions of Denton and Tarrant counties. She is chair of the Senate Finance Committee and the highest ranking Republican in the Texas Senate.

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