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Minutes — Public Policy Committee Meeting, November 3, 2010

(As approved by the Committee May 5, 2011)


Call to Order

The Public Policy Committee convened on Wednesday, November 3, 2010, in the Pecan Room of the Marriott Austin South, 4414 South IH-35; Austin, TX 78745. Committee Chair Rick Tisch called those present to order at 10:30 AM.


Committee members, staff and guests were introduced.

Public Comments

No public comments were offered.

Approval of Minutes

Tisch tabled the minutes from the August Public Policy Committee meeting. Staff were asked to expand the discussion concerning the proposed moratorium on admissions to state supported living centers.

Selection of TCDD Nominating Committee Representative

MOTION: To recommend Mateo Delgado as Public Policy Committee’s nominee for the Nominating Committee Representative.

MADE BY: Rick Tisch

SECOND: Cindy Johnston

The motion passed with an abstention by Mateo Delgado.

2010 Biennial Disability Report Update

The Committee received a briefing from Public Policy Director Angela Lello on the survey completed for the 2010 Biennial Disability Report. TCDD entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) that provided contact information for individuals on the interest list for the Home and Community Based Services (HCS) and the Community Living Assistance and Support Services (CLASS) waiver programs. The survey results showed that the top three services people on the interest list need are respite, specialized therapies, and behavioral support services. Ten percent of survey respondents do not know which list they are on which indicates a lack of information. If the council is interested in more information about individuals on the HCS and CLASS Interest Lists, it would be necessary to conduct more in-depth research through focus groups and a more scientifically rigorous survey. Doing so would be at the direction of the Council and would require a significant financial investment.

Update on Living Center Monitoring Activities

Chris Adams, Assistant Commissioner for State Supported Living Centers (SSLCs), Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS), was invited to give an overview of DADS efforts to comply with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Settlement Agreement (SA). Adams emphasized that as the agency has entered into discussions on the SA, it is expected to be an iterative, slow, and deliberate process of coming into compliance. The DOJ and DADS established an approach of reaching compliance with the SA whereby they agreed on particular outcomes that must be achieved consistently at each SSLC location.

Adams indicated that compliance with the SA requires several elements. The facility must have a clearly stated policy and established protocol to achieve a desired outcome or set of outcomes. There must be clearly articulated instructions to SSLC staff that are responsible for carrying out policy in a consistent manner. And the facility must establish an objective mechanism to fulfill the requirements of the SA and making system change. Adams was thanked for his remarks and invited to visit with the committee further in the future.

Goal Areas for TCDD FY 2012-2016 State Plan

Tisch invited members to discuss the goal areas for the TCDD FY 2011-2016 State Plan that were established in the Committee of the Whole Meeting on November 2, 2010. The Committee determined that the FY 2011-2016 State Plan goal areas encompass TCDD’s Public Policy Priorities and that the goals relating to public policy issues will involve and be addressed by the Public Policy Committee.

Public Policy Committee Chair Rick Tisch departed the meeting at 11:07 AM. Mateo Delgado assumed the role as Chair for the remainder of the meeting.

TCDD Public Policy Priorities

Director Lello reviewed the proposed TCDD 2011 Public Policy Priorities and the framework that Public Policy staff utilize when determining staff activities. Lello asked whether members had any suggested revisions to the Public Policy Priorities, and none were proposed.

MOTION: To recommend Council adoption of the TCDD 2011 Public Policy Priorities.

MADE BY: Brenda Coleman Beattie

SECOND: Hunter Adkins

The motion passed without opposition.

Public Policy Items

Update on the 82nd Texas Legislative Session

The Committee discussed the outcome of the November 2, 2010, general election and the implications on TCDD public policy activities. Public Policy staff will work to make connections with new legislators. Member Hunter Adkins expressed an interest in meeting with her elected representatives. The Committee received an update from Lello on congressional activities.

Update on State Budget Issues

Public Policy Director Lello and Executive Director Roger Webb discussed the estimated budget shortfalls for the 2011-2012 biennium and highlights of the Legislative Appropriations Requests (LARs) submitted by the Department of Aging and Disability Services; the Department of Family and Protective Services; and the Department of State Health Services. Lello indicated that staff will monitor legislation pertaining to public school finance to determine how proposed changes to funding formulas affect special education services. Chair Delgado asked staff to keep Council members apprised of budget cuts that affect individuals with developmental disabilities via email.

Public Information Report

Lello reported to the committee that the Public Information staff has been working on a plan to increase connections and awareness as directed by the Council. The TCDD annual report is expected be ready by the end of the year. It will be posted to the TCDD website and sent to Council Members.

Public Policy Report

Director Lello reported to the committee that Public Policy staff testified and submitted comments to committees over the last quarter, with specific testimony available in the Council Member binder. The Committee discussed Council member Kris Bissmeyer’s testimony before the Senate Finance Committee and future opportunities to testify at legislative hearings.

Other Discussion Items

Public Information Specialist Lucy Walker informed the committee about a publication produced by The Arc of Texas as part of a TCDD grant. The publications include a basic and advanced advocacy manual in English and in Spanish. The English version of the manual is available on the TCDD website, and the Spanish language version will be available soon.


There being no further business, Delgado adjourned the meeting at 1:32 PM.

Roger A. Webb, Secretary to the Council