Minutes — February 2020 Public Policy Committee Meeting

2020 Council and Committee Meetings


  • Committee Members Present
  • Lora Taylor, Committee Chair
  • Hunter Adkins
  • Patty Anderson, DRTx
  • Ronnie Browning
  • Paul Cardarella
  • Kristen Cox
  • Meagan Orsag, TAMU – CDD
  • Michael Peace
  • Randall Resneder
  • Eric Shahid
  • Amy Sharp, UT – CDS
  • Kim Torres
  • Dana Williamson, HHSC, Title XIX/Medicaid
  • Guests Present

  • Ricardo Atkinson
  • Floyd Browning
  • Ashley Ford
  • Lauren Rangel
  • Kami Shahid
  • Lindsey Zischkale
  • Regional Coordinators Present

  • Morgan Bradley
  • Anthony Ross
  • Staff Present

  • Scott Daigle
  • Linda Logan
  • Beth Stalvey


Call to Order

The Public Policy Committee of the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) convened on Thursday, February 6, 2020 in the Houston II room of DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Austin. Public Policy Committee Chair Lora Taylor called those present to order at 9:07 AM. A quorum was present.

  1. Introductions of Committee Members, Staff and Visitors
    Committee members, staff, and guests were introduced. Chair Taylor provided a brief overview of the responsibilities of the Committee.

  2. Public Comments
    No public comments were offered.

  3. Consideration of November 7, 2019, Minutes
    The Committee reviewed the minutes from the November 7, 2019, Public Policy Committee meeting. No additions or corrections were noted.

    MOTION: To approve the minutes of the November 7, 2019, Public Policy Committee meeting.
    MADE BY: Randall Resneder
    SECOND: Michael Pease
    The motion passed without opposition. Hunter Adkins and Paul Cardarella abstained from voting.

  4. Chair’s Remarks
    Chair Taylor reported no expected Committee absences for the quarter. She discussed her activities of the previous quarter and paid tribute to recently deceased Council Member Ruth Mason, noting attendance at her funeral on Thursday, February 2, 2020.

    In response to Governor Abbott’s request to individuals appointed to state councils and committees, Taylor reviewed Robert’s Rules of Order.

  5. Member Quarterly Activities
    Committee members provided personal updates from the previous quarter regarding advocacy involvement and other activities.

  6. Presentation on Medicaid Waiver Interest List Reduction Study and Community First Choice – Dana Williamson, HHSC
    Dana Williamson described how HHSC is meeting the requirements of HB1 Rider 42 of the 86th Texas Legislature, which requires a report on reducing the interest lists for waiver services to the Legislative Budget Board and the Governor not later than September 1, 2020. Williamson invited Council members to provide feedback by the first week in March 2020 in order for comments to be considered in the final report. She also provided a one-page summary and described the Community First Choice entitlement program.

  7. TCDD 2021 Public Policy Priorities
    TCDD Public Policy Director Scott Daigle explained that prior to each legislative session, the Council identifies priorities for advocacy and education. He discussed the purpose and process and reviewed the priorities that the Council established prior to the 86th Texas Legislature (2019). He also noted other areas for which the Council has shown interest and invited members to make recommendations. Discussion included the recommendation by Council Member Paul Cardarella that TCDD demonstrate leadership by placing emphasis on establishing common ground for groups with opposing perspectives.

  8. TCDD Position Statements
    Chair Taylor and Public Policy Director Daigle provided background on the development of TCDD position statements, which have not been updated since 2016. Members were asked for input about the topics as well as how they are presented. Daigle asked representatives of other agencies if and how the statements are relevant and helpful. He requested that members review the current statements for further discussion at the May 2020 Council meeting.

  9. State and Federal Policy Update
    Public Policy Director Daigle discussed the interim charges from the House of Representatives, having discussed the Senate charges at the previous Council meeting. He noted TCDD’s recommendations to legislators regarding interim charges. He discussed the recent announcement of the availability of Medicaid block grants to states participating in Medicaid expansion; the comment period for the Texas accessible parking rule; and the first meeting of the Texas Coalition on Sexual Assault and IDD. Daigle noted that two policy staff positions would be filled and invited Council members to make recommendations regarding desired qualifications of new policy staff. TCDD Public Policy Specialist Linda Logan briefly described the pending adoption of federal rules governing access to federal benefits for non-citizens seeking visas and green cards (“public charge rules”). She also discussed the Social Security Administration’s proposed rules on continuing disability reviews.

  10. FY 2026 State Plan Development
    Public Policy Director Daigle gave an overview of the process for development of TCDD’s FY 2022 — FY 2026 State Plan. He noted that plan development required Council member input on gaps in the system and service areas of interest that TCDD needs to work on.

  11. Public Input on Committee Discussion
    No public comment was offered.

  12. Future Agenda Items
    The future agenda was discussed, including suggestions of housing challenges to people with IDD and/or mental illness; fraud, waste, and abuse; and TCDD Council member responsibilities. It was noted that when the Texas Legislature is in session, February has historically been the month that members have been prepared to visit legislators.

  13. Other Discussion Items
    • The Presidential Forum planned for January 2020 will not be rescheduled. In June an event around civic engagement will be held.
    • Many presidential candidates have announced very robust disability platforms that can viewed on each candidate’s website.


Committee Chair Lora Taylor adjourned the meeting at 12:03 PM.