Between each legislative session, Interim Committees study key issues and make recommendations that are used in drafting legislation and making future decisions. These committees hold hearings and obtain public input, providing many opportunities to educate legislators about disability topics and your concerns.
House Speaker Joe Straus released many of his interim study charges for the House of Representatives committees on Oct. 20, 2011. (see, Texas Speaker of the House Interim Charges webpage. He also asked all House committees to “Find ways to increase transparency, accountability and efficiency in state government.” Committee reports are due Dec. 1, 2012. Senate interim charges are not out yet.
A number of House charges will affect people with disabilities, including charges on the state budget; Medicaid; funding for mental health services; education including school discipline, positive behavioral models and monitoring the new testing program to measure student knowledge; health care and health insurance; and criminal justice plus commitments for individuals with mental disabilities. TCDD staff are working on a list of key interim charges and will post it on our Texas Legislature page.
Individuals who wish to provide input on any interim issues can submit written comments directly to the committee involved or attend hearings. A few House and Senate committees are meeting already.
- Texas House of Representatives Committee Schedules
- Texas Senate Committee Hearings and Events webpage
The Texas Legislature convenes again January 8, 2013.