Minutes — May 2019 Public Policy Committee Meeting

2019 Council and Committee Meetings


  • Committee Members Present
  • Lora Taylor, Committee Chair
  • Hunter Adkins
  • Dee Budgewater, HHSC, Title XIX/Medicaid
  • Kristen Cox
  • Mary Durheim, Council Chair
  • Michael Peace
  • Amy Sharp, UT – CDS
  • Dalun Zhang, TAMU – CDD
  • Staff Present
  • Joanna Cordry
  • Scott Daigle
  • Danny Fikac
  • Linda Logan
  • Committee Members Absent
  • Kristine Clark
  • Mary Faithfull, DRTx
  • Ruth Mason
  • Brandon Pharris
  • Guests Present
  • Ricardo Atkinson
  • Belinda Carlton
  • Molly Comeaux
  • Craig Davis
  • Robert Ferguson
  • Diane Northcutt
  • Lauren Rangel
  • Christa Walikonis
  • Dana Williamson, HHSC, Title XIX/Medicaid
  • Lindsey Zischkale

Call to Order

The Public Policy Committee of the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) convened on Thursday, May 2, 2019 in the Yucca/San Pedro room of the Embassy Suites Austin Central, 5901 North IH-35, Austin, TX 78723. Public Policy Committee Chair Lora Taylor called those present to order at 9:10 AM. A quorum was present.

  1. Introductions of Committee Members, Staff and Visitors
    Committee members, staff, and guests were introduced.
  1. Public Comments
    No public comments were offered to the Committee.
  1. Consideration of February 8, 2019, Minutes
    The Committee reviewed the minutes from the February 8, 2019, Public Policy Committee meeting. No additions or corrections were noted.

    MOTION: To approve the minutes of the February 8, 2019, Public Policy Committee meeting.
    MADE BY: Kristen Cox
    SECOND: Michael Peace
    The motion passed unanimously.
  1. Chair’s Remarks
    Chair Taylor reviewed absences and discussed her activities of the previous quarter. She shared concerns that have been raised to her regarding the Council position on state supported living centers, and the perception that the position excludes families that make the choice to utilize an institutional setting. The Committee discussed current grant projects relating to peer support services, including a project that is serving individuals in the Austin State Supported Living Center. Mary Durheim, Council Chair, suggested that the TCDD mission statement should be reviewed to ensure that choice is prioritized, regardless of setting.
  1. Member Updates
    Committee members provided updates of their activities in the previous quarter.
  1. Legislative Update
    Public Policy Director Scott Daigle provided an update of staff activities in the previous quarter. He discussed testimony provided by TCDD staff and bills tracked in relation to TCDD Public Policy Priorities. He also discussed the Bill of the Week and Texas Legislative News media campaigns.

    Chair Taylor led a discussion of post-session strategies. She requested that staff provide a post-session wrap-up by July to share with Public Policy Committee members during the summer. Taylor suggested that TCDD submit an interim study recommendation for a study on the reduction of waiting lists for community-based services.

    Taylor also discussed recognition of lawmakers of the 86th Texas Legislature and Committee members recommended the following lawmakers for special recognition: Senator Judith Zaffirini, Representative Sarah Davis, and Representative Mary Gonzalez. Members discussed the timing and format of the presentation of the award(s).
  1. Grant Project Discussion
    Systems Change Specialist Danny Fikac led a discussion on the Media Fellows project. Given the lack of response to the initial posting for applications for this project, staff will bring revisions for discussion at the next meeting. The potential for collaboration with the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities was discussed.

    Members reviewed the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council FY 2019 Overview of Day-Funded Initiatives and discussed the design of this program as a model for TCDD Meaningful Day grant projects.
  1. Future Funding Priorities
    Members discussed the priority order for TCDD projects previously approved for funding and will continue this discussion at the Council meeting with members of the Project Development Committee.
  1. State and Federal Policy Update
    Public Policy Director Daigle presented an overview of staff activities related to the 86th Texas Legislature. He discussed oral and written testimony on bills filed during the session, comments on state agency rules, and other related resource documents.
  1. Public Input on Committee Discussion
    The Committee received no public input on the Committee’s discussion.
  1. Other Discussion Items
    The next scheduled Public Policy Committee meeting is August 8, 2019.
  1. Future Agenda Items
    It was suggested that TCDD receive a presentation from Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) staff on the “Foundation for the IDD Strategic Plan” portion of the HHSC Strategic Plan Update.


Committee Chair Lora Taylor adjourned the meeting at 11:30 AM.