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Texas Legislature

84th Texas Legislature Began January 13, 2015

The Texas Legislature meets in a regular session every two years, convening on the second Tuesday in January of every odd-numbered year. These biennial sessions are limited to 140 days. The governor can also call additional special sessions as necessary, which cannot exceed 30 days. The 84th Legislative Session is January 13, through June 1, 2015.

Health and Human Services Budget

Prior to the start of each legislative session, the Legislative Budget Board and the Governor’s Office of Budget, Policy and Planning jointly issue instructions to each Texas state agency regarding how to develop their Legislative Appropriations Request (LAR) which is their request for money to operate their programs over the next two-year biennium — Fiscal Years 2016–17. Appropriations requests for state general revenue funds may not exceed the sum of those amounts expended in Fiscal Year 2014 and budgeted in Fiscal Year 2015. At the beginning of the legislative session, the House and Senate propose budgets for Texas state agencies. Agencies may submit Exceptional Item requests for priorities that the agency considers of great importance in addition to the base budget.

Committee Decisions on DADS & DARS
The House Appropriations Committee (HAC) and the Senate Finance Committee (SFC) have each adopted their first draft of the 2016-2017 appropriations bill, HB 1 and SB 2 respectively. The items below represent the committees’ decisions regarding the DADS and DARS exceptional items requests.

Note that there are a few additional items of interest in the DADS summary, including community attendant wages, enhanced managed care ombudsman, enhancements to Community First Choice, the Children with Special Health Care Needs waiting list, and selected provider rates.

Bill Tracking Reports

TCDD tracks bills that could impact people with disabilities and their families in Texas. For full bill tracking reports, including descriptions and remarks, select one of the categories below.

Sunset Review

State agencies are usually reviewed once every 12 years, but TCDD and the health and human service agencies were last reviewed 16 years ago, in 1998-1999, because the Legislature postponed their review twice. The review process began summer 2013 and continues through the 84th Texas Legislative Session.
Some of the agencies under Sunset review now are:

The public can participate in the legislative process on Sunset bills in the same way as any other legislation, through hearings in the Senate and House and contacting legislators who vote on the bills. To see current Sunset Commission legislation, see the 84th Legislature Sunset Bill Filings Chart.

More information at:

Input to Committees About Developmental Disabilities

The interim period is a good time to get to know your legislators and educate them on disability issues. Individuals who wish to provide input can submit written comments directly to a committee or attend committee hearings.

83rd Texas Legislature Held in 2013

The 83rd Session of the Texas Legislature ended May 27, 2013.

TCDD priorities during the 83rd session included appropriations, long term services and supports, education and employment. TCDD policy recommendations included prohibiting organ transplant discrimination and Employment First, and legislation was passed on Employment First.

Final Health and Human Service Budget Decisions

  • Read the SB1 document prepared by TCDD (PDF, 3 pages, 70KB) — includes a comparison of funding levels for selected health and human service programs important for people with developmental disabilities.

Final Bill Tracking Report

Senate Bill 7

TCDD is closely following Senate Bill 7. Information about the bill is regularly being shared with our TCDD News subscribers (subscribe here), in the News and Information Texas Legislature category of this website, and on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Interim Committees and Charges

Between each legislative session, the Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House appoint interim committees to study key issues and research information that will help guide future legislative decisions. Interim committees, which are usually appointed in the fall, hold hearings to obtain public input.

Texas Legislative Appropriations Requests

82nd Texas Legislature

Texas Legislature Resources

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