Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 424
By: Shapleigh
Public Health


Currently, the Texas Statewide Health Coordinating Council prepares and
reviews a proposed state health plan every six years and updates the plan
biennially.  The health plan may not reflect the effects of growth in
trade, transportation, the economy, and population in Texas resulting from
the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  The impact of these
changes may overwhelm the existing public health and medical
infrastructure, not only in communities along the Texas-Mexico border, but
throughout the state. To keep up with emerging needs, a strategic health
plan to address these issues must be in place.  Senate Bill 424 requires
the Texas Department of Health to develop a state strategic plan to address
concerns relating to the effects of NAFTA on Texas. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


Senate Bill 424 requires the Texas Department of Health (TDH), with
assistance from the Health and Human Services Commission and The University
of Texas School of Public Health at Houston, to study the health of Texas
residents and develop a strategic health plan for Texas.  The bill provides
that in developing the plan, TDH must examine the impact of increased
contact and commerce between Texas and Mexico on the health of Texas
residents, health care access and delivery, and the organizational
infrastructure of the health care system. 
The bill provides that the plan must outline the steps the state should
take to address health needs of Texas residents.  The bill requires TDH, no
later than December 15, 2002, to develop the plan and file a written report
of the plan with the governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the
house of representatives.  The Act expires February 1, 2003. 


On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act
takes effect September 1, 2001.