Minutes — May 2017 Public Policy Committee Meeting

2017 Council and Committee Meetings


Committee Members Present

  • Lora Taylor, Committee Chair
  • Hunter Adkins
  • Lisa Akers-Owen, HHSC — Older Americans Act
  • Kristen Cox
  • Stephen Gersuk
  • Michael Peace
  • Amy Sharp, UT — CDS
  • Jami Snyder, HHSC — Title XIX/Medicaid
  • Meagan Sumbera, TAMU — CDD

Committee Members Absent

  • Kristine Clark
  • Mary Faithfull, DRTX
  • Ruth Mason
  • Brandon Pharris

Guests Present

  • Alexandra Noble
  • Rona Statman

Staff Members Present

  • Ashley Ford
  • Linda Logan
  • Jessica Ramos

Call To Order

The Public Policy Committee convened on Thursday, May 4, 2017 in Ames Room at the Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel and Conference Center, 1101 Woodlawn Avenue, Georgetown, TX 78628. Public Policy Committee Chair Lora Taylor called those present to order at 2:00 p.m.

  1. Introductions
    Chair Taylor asked the Committee members, staff, and guests to introduce themselves and share their plans for the summer.

  2. Public Comments
    No public comments were offered to the Committee.

  3. Consideration of Minutes
    The Committee reviewed the minutes from the February 10, 2017 Public Policy Committee meeting. No additions or corrections were noted.

    MOTION: To approve the minutes of the February 10, 2017 Public Policy Committee meeting.
    MADE BY: Hunter Adkins
    SECOND: Michael Peace
    The motion passed unanimously.

  4. Chair’s Remarks
    Chair Taylor reviewed absences and reported on her recent activities, including advocating for accessible parking improvements and Compassionate Use Program expansion during the legislative session.

  5. Member Updates
    The Committee welcomed new Council and Committee member, Jami Snyder, as agency representative for Title XIX/Medicaid with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).

  6. Disproportionalities and Disparities Discussion
    Per request, the Committee received additional information regarding post-secondary outcomes of students with disabilities who received special education services. Staff prepared a handout titled Disconnected Youth to show the data relating to the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) Public Information Education Management System (PEIMS), Indicator 14 outcomes and other data available from a periodically released report by the Measure of America of the Social Research Council. Staff agreed to use the disconnected youth data and other information from the Southwest Conference on Disability for further action.

  7. Public Policy Staff Activities
    The Committee received updates from staff regarding state policy issues and staff activities including: TCDD’s priority bill list, a Texas budget summary, the HCS and TxHmL rate reduction proposal, insurance coverage for ECI services, supporting self-advocates to be included on workgroups, committees and councils, and other bills of interest. The Committee also received updates regarding STAR Kids, including issues reported during the Policy Council for Children and Families meeting concerning access to care and eligibility. Jami Snyder agreed there are issues for further review, including STAR Kids assessment instructions to that may discourage Community First Choice or only offer on request.

    The Committee received updates from staff regarding state supported living centers (SSLCs) including the status of SB 602 and public testimony provided by Committee member, Ruth Mason, in favor of SB 602 relating to the creation of an SSLC restructuring commission.

    The Committee received updates from staff regarding recent federal policy issues including the American Health Care Act, the outlook for Medicaid in 2017 with an explanation of block grants and per capita caps, and the Supreme Court of the United States decision in “Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District.” The Committee also received updates regarding HHSC activities relating to day habilitation and the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Setting Rule. Advocates agree an extension is necessary, and are concerned that without funding, meaningful day improvements are uncertain.

    Committee member Jami Snyder informed the Committee that HHSC will be meeting with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in Washington D.C. to request a 21-month extension for the Texas 1115 waiver from CMS at current funding levels. An extension would give Texas the time to plan to take advantage of federal flexibility, like block grants, in a deliberate and transparent manner.

  8. Other Discussion Items
    The Committee discussed the development of TCDD’s 2019 System Improvement Recommendations and reviewed progress on previous improvement recommendations. Members were encouraged to provide specific recommendations for the August meeting.


There being no further business, Committee Chair Lora Taylor adjourned the meeting at 3:36 p.m.

Beth Stalvey, Secretary to the Council