Minutes — May 2017 Committee of the Whole Meeting

2017 Council and Committee Meetings


Council Members Present

  • Mary Durheim, Council Chair
  • Hunter Adkins
  • Lisa Akers-Owen, HHSC/Older Americans Act
  • Kimberly Blackmon
  • Paula Brunson, TWC/Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Gladys Cortez
  • Kristen Cox
  • Stephen Gersuk
  • Ivy Goldstein, DSHS/Maternal and Child Health
  • Scott McAvoy
  • Michael Peace
  • Amy Sharp, UT CDS
  • Meagan Sumbera, A&M CDD
  • Lora Taylor
  • Richard Tisch
  • John Thomas

Council Members Absent

  • Kristine Clark
  • Mateo Delgado
  • Mary Faithfull, DRTX
  • Ruth Mason
  • Dana Perry
  • Brandon Pharris
  • Ron Roberts, TEA/IDEA
  • Jami Snyder, HHSC/Medicaid
  • David Taylor

Guests Present

  • Jan Brown, JAS
  • Isabel Evans
  • Ted Johnson, JAS
  • Alexandra Noble
  • Mary Poole
  • Rona Statman

Staff Members Present

  • Beth Stalvey, Executive Director
  • Martha Cantu
  • Joanna Cordry
  • Cynthia Ellison
  • Danny Fikac
  • Ashley Ford
  • Radames Fuentes
  • Linda Logan
  • Jessica Ramos
  • Joshua Ryf
  • Koren Vogel

Call To Order

The Committee of the Whole of the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities convened on Thursday, May 4, 2017, in the San Gabriel Ballroom of the Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel and Conference Center, 1101 Woodlawn Avenue, Georgetown, TX 78628. Council Chair Mary Durheim called the meeting to order at 9:34 AM.

  1. Introductions
    Council members, staff and guests introduced themselves. Chair Durheim asked members to observe a moment of silence in honor of former Council member John Morris who passed away on April 3, 2017.

  2. Public Comments
    No public comments were offered.

  3. Presentation: Family Based Alternatives and Child Protective Services
    Public Policy Fellow Alexandra Noble presented information on efforts from EveryChild, Inc. to transition children with disabilities from institutions such as General Residential Operations and Intermediate Care Facilities to family settings. She described the collaborative work with the Department of Family and Protective Services to honor the Promoting Independence Plan and provide Family Based Alternatives. This requires well-trained and supported families, resource coordinators, and funding sources such as Medicaid waiver programs. She noted that improvements are still needed to better track children with disabilities in the foster care system.

  4. Federal Affairs Update
    Executive Director Beth Stalvey provided a brief update on federal policies. She discussed appropriations and Developmental Disabilities Act funding to note that the agency is operating under a continuing resolution for FY 2017 funding and it is expected that funding at FY2016 levels will be allocated through the end of the 2017 fiscal year.

    Stalvey next discussed health care and proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act including Medicaid restructuring into “block grants”. She discussed education including the Supreme Court of the United States decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District that provides definitions on minimum standards for appropriate education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Every Student Succeeds Act noting that state plans to implement this legislation are due to the Department of Education by September 2017.

    Stalvey concluded with changes to state implementation of home and community-based services initiative focused on community integration. Texas’ plan has not been submitted but the timeline for compliance has been extended.

  5. Round Table Discussion of Public Policy Priorities
    Members participated in four round-table discussions on the subjects of FY 2018 — FY 2019 Appropriations, Education, Employment, and Long-Term Services and Supports. Members reviewed pending legislation on each of these topics and discussed policy issues as well as TCDD grant projects related to each.

    Following the small-group discussions, members convened in a large group to report on each topic. Discussions on the budget centered around proposed rate reductions for attendant care reimbursement and members viewed a video produced by the Arc of Texas that featured advocates talking about the impact of the rate reductions.


Council Chair Durheim adjourned the Committee of the Whole at 1:45 PM.

Beth Stalvey, Secretary to the Council