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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
May 28, 2015
Contact: Megan Hanson
512-463-0112
SENATE CONCURS ON SB 200 REORGANIZING HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

AUSTIN – The Texas Senate today concurred on amendments made in the Texas House of Representatives for 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, will now be sent to the Governor.

"This legislation will update the structure of our health and human service agencies, which no longer reflect the reality of how these programs are operated. It will address clouded lines of responsibility and, most importantly, help our most vulnerable Texans connect to these important services," said Senator Nelson. "These changes were heavily vetted by the Sunset Commission and the Governor's Strike Force. The overwhelming support for these reforms sends a strong message that the Legislature wants these services delivered efficiently and effectively."

SB 200:

  • 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 four Senate members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, four House members appointed by the Speaker, and three 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;
  • Directs the Executive Commissioner to recommend to TLOC in 2018, which in turn will 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.
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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