Minutes — May 2019 Committee of the Whole Meeting

2019 Council and Committee Meetings


  • Council Members Present
  • Mary Durheim, Council Chair
  • Hunter Adkins
  • Patty Anderson, DRTX
  • Kimberly Blackmon
  • Dee Budgewater, HHSC/Medicaid
  • Gladys Cortez
  • Kristen Cox
  • Andrew Crim
  • Jennifer Hines, TWC
  • Ruth Mason
  • Scott McAvoy
  • Michael Peace
  • Justin Porter, TEA
  • Holly Riley, HHSC/Older Americans Act
  • Lora Taylor
  • John Thomas
  • Audrey Young, DSHS
  • Dalun Zhang, A&M CDD
  • Council Members Absent
  • Kristine Clark
  • Mateo Delgado
  • Dana Perry
  • Brandon Pharris
  • Richard Tisch
  • Amy Sharp, TCDS
  • Staff Present
  • Beth Stalvey, Executive Director
  • Martha Cantu
  • Joanna Cordry
  • Scott Daigle
  • Cynthia Ellison
  • Danny Fikac
  • Robert Garcia
  • Richard Rendon
  • Joshua Ryf
  • Koren Vogel
  • Guests Present
  • Ricardo Atkinson
  • Belinda Carlton
  • Dawn Carlton
  • Craig Davis
  • Lauren Gerken
  • Hannah Kincaide
  • Mike Mason
  • Lauren Rangel
  • Coline Sperling
  • Christa Walikonis
  • Tiffany Williams
  • Dana Williamson, HHSC/Medicaid
  • Lindsey Zischkale


Call to Order

The Committee of the Whole of the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities convened on Thursday, May 2, 2019, in the Ballroom A-B of the Embassy Suites Austin Central, 5901 North IH-35, Austin, TX 78823. Council Chair Mary Durheim called the meeting to order at 1:37 PM. A quorum was present.

  1. Introductions
    Council members, staff and guests introduced themselves.

  2. Public Comments
    No public comments were offered.

  3. Developmental Disabilities Policy Fellows Presentations
    Presentations were given to the Council by TCDD Policy Fellows Lauren Gerken and Tiffany Williams. Gerken had recently ended her fellowship at The Arc of Texas where she focused on issues related to employment and early childhood services. Gerken’s presentation discussed legislation from the 86th Texas Legislature that addressed issues across the lifespan of a person with disabilities. She emphasized the need to look at the system of services for people with disabilities as “whole” system beginning with early childhood interventions and special education then moving to employment and long-term services and supports. Gerken stressed the need for advocates to “connect the dots” between these services to see true systems change.

    Tiffany Williams is completing her fellowship at the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities. Williams discussed the issues of mental health services in the school setting including the relationship of those services to school safety. She noted the need for disability advocates to be a part of the school safety discussion in order to support good policies and potentially block policies that could hurt students with disabilities. Williams reviewed bills from the legislative session that addressed school safety.

  4. Legislative Update
    Public Policy Director Scott Daigle provided updates from the 86th Texas Legislature as the Council members completed a “Council Challenge” game format which covered various topics related to the session. Members discussed the state budget as well as the status of bills that met policy priorities for TCDD.

  5. Council Membership
    In anticipation of new membership appointments, Executive Director Beth Stalvey and Council Membership Coordinator Koren Vogel facilitated a discussion among members related to their experiences as Council members. Stalvey and Vogel reviewed the orientation requirements and members provided input on activities and information that were helpful as they began their terms.


Council Chair Durheim adjourned the Committee of the Whole at 4:35 PM.