P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 25, 2015
AUSTIN – The Texas House of Representatives today passed 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, was amended in the House and will now return to the Senate for further consideration.
"This legislation is critically needed to help our most vulnerable citizens navigate what is currently a confusing system with blurred lines of accountability and similar programs spread across five independent agencies. The new structure will better serve the needs of Texans who rely on these important services," said Senator Nelson. "I am so grateful to Representative Price, Sunset staff, the Governor's Strike Force, and all the stakeholders who helped shape this legislation. The overwhelming vote in both chambers is a testament to their outstanding work."
- Abolishes and transfers Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) functions to HHSC in 2016;
- Moves client services, including women's and mental health currently at the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to HHSC in 2016;
- Moves Medicaid programs from DSHS and the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) to HHSC in 2016;
- Merges regulatory functions spread out among three agencies at HHSC in 2017;
- Abolishes and transfers remaining DADS functions to HHSC in 2017;
- Transfers state hospital oversight from DSHS and state supported living centers from DADS to HHSC in 2017;
- Creates a Policy and Performance Office at HHSC to facilitate system-wide improvements;
- Creates in statute the following divisions at HHSC: Medical and Social Services; Regulatory; Administrative; Facilities; and the Office of Inspector General;
- Continues the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and DSHS as independent agencies with a 2023 Sunset review;
- Clarifies that the statewide intake system remains at DFPS in these reorganizations;
- 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;
- Directs the Executive Commissioner to submit a transition plan to TLOC by March 1, 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;
- Directs the Executive Commissioner to recommend to TLOC in 2018, which would in turn make a recommendation to the 86th Legislature in 2019, whether DSHS and DFPS should remain independent agencies; and
- Continues the Health and Human Services Commission until 2027.