C.S.S.B. 464 78(R)    BILL ANALYSIS

C.S.S.B. 464
By: Nelson
Public Health
Committee Report (Substituted)


Local Community Health Centers are responsible to the Texas Department of
Mental Health and Mental Retardation, yet operate as autonomous
facilities. In some cases, however, the local programs may be deemed to be
mismanaged, either intentionally, recklessly or negligently. Currently,
state officials have the ability to assume management of local facilities
in such cases. However, this can only be done after the local centers
exhaust a lengthy appeals process. During this period, however, the danger
to the center and its clients from mismanagement still exists. C.S.S.B.464
would allow state officials to appoint a management team to oversee a
center prior to a judgement on the merits of an appeal, if it determines
that state funds are being misused or a client's health is endangered. 


It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly grant any
additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or


The  Bill  amends Section 534.038(a) and (d), Health and Safety Code. The
bill allows the Commissioner to move quickly to assume management of a
facility deemed to be mismanaged.  The appeals process is still available
to local MHMR officers, but in the interim, the facility may be managed by
state officials. 


Upon passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act
takes effect September 1, 2003. 


The Bill, as introduced, included language stating that the appeal stays
the appointment unless the commissioner "determines that immediate
intervention is in the department's best interest." The Substitute
removes this language, clarifying that any intervention may only be taken
in the case that state or federal money was misused or if the life, health
or safety of a person served by the center is endangered.