Interim Reports of Interest

House Interim Charges
Committee Chair/Vice Chair Relevant Charges
Corrections Parker; White Examine the association between co-occurring serious mental illness and substance use disorders and parole revocation among inmates from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Review current policies and procedures for incarcerating individuals with a dual mental health diagnosis in both state and county correctional facilities and examine potential remedies within the State’s criminal justice system to ensure that the public is protected and that individuals with a mental health diagnosis receive a continuum of mental health services. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence) Download Interim Committee Report here.
County Affairs Coleman; Farias Continue oversight of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards and issues jails currently face, including the mental health of those in jail, and make recommendations for refinement or improvement of processes and programs.Monitor the health advisory panel stemming from HB 3793 (83R). Download Interim Committee Report here.
Defense and Veterans Affiars Menendez; Sheffield Monitor the implementation of HB 2392 (83R), Peer-to-Peer Mental Health Program, administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, particularly the interface with local mental health authorities and veterans’ groups, with a focus on issues related to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Download Interim Committee Report here.
Human Services Raymond; Gonzalez Examine crisis resources for individuals with co-occurring mental illness and intellectual/developmental disabilities. Identify strategies to serve individuals with complex behavioral and medical needs in the community.  Download Interim Committee Report here.
Insurance Smithee; Eiland Monitor the effects of the Affordable Care Act on the availability and affordability of private health insurance coverage in Texas and on the health insurance market.  Download Interim Committee Report here.
Public Health Kolkhorst; Naishtat Assess the prevalence of nonmedical prescription drug use in the state (including opioid analgesics, stimulants, tranquilizers, and sedatives). Identify adverse health impacts. Recommend strategies to curb emerging substance abuse trends among children, pregnant women, and adults, as well as to reduce health care costs and mortality.  Download Interim Committee Report here.
Senate Interim Charges
Committee Chair/Vice Chair Charges
Health and Human Services Schwertner; Deuell Evaluate the current state of prescription drug abuse and strategies for reducing prescription drug abuse in Texas. Make recommendations on how these policies can be improved or modified to enhance the State of Texas’ handling of services, treatments and education related to prescription drug abuse and to reduce the overall prevalence of prescription drug abuse. Identify cost-effective alternatives to Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act to better connect low income individuals to health care services through private market-based solutions, including Medicaid block grants and waivers. Recommendations should strive to encourage cost sharing, promote personal responsibility, reduce uncompensated care costs, contain increasing health care costs, improve access to care, address access to emergency department care issues in rural areas, promote the use of existing private coverage or employee sponsored coverage, reduce non-emergency use of emergency departments, and reduce the need for federal approval to the state Medicaid plan. Monitor the implementation of programs that were created or expanded by the 83rd Legislature to improve mental health and substance abuse services and assess these efforts’ contribution to improved outcomes such as reduced recidivism in state hospitals, diversion from emergency rooms and county jails, and access to permanent supportive housing. Identify and address gaps in the current mental health and substance abuse system and make recommendations to better coordinate services across agencies and programs. Download Interim Committee Report here.
Economic Development Deuell; Hancock Monitor implementation of SB 21 (83-R), which requires drug testing for unemployment insurance claimants. Investigate options to begin implementation of the rule without relying on U.S. Department of Labor regulations. Make recommendations to ensure that unemployment insurance claimants are actively seeking work and not using illegal drugs. Download Interim Committee Report here.
Criminal Justice Whitemire; Huffman Study the operations of the Texas prison system with respect to the medical and mental health care treatment. Study potential cost savings associated with identifying offenders with dual diagnoses and routing these individuals into appropriate services before, during, and after involvement with the criminal justice system. Study the way in which geriatric parole cases are currently evaluated and identify opportunities for reducing costs associated with the geriatric inmate population without compromising public safety. Download Interim Committee Report here.