Austin, Texas
March 4, 2009

Honorable Jane Nelson, Chair, Senate Committee on Health & Human Services
John S. O'Brien, Director, Legislative Budget Board
SB188 by Deuell (Relating to disease control programs to reduce the risk of certain communicable diseases.), Committee Report 1st House, Substituted

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

The bill would add Subchapter J to Chapter 81, Health and Safety Code, to authorize local health authorities or organizations that contract with a county, municipality, hospital district, or other local governmental entity charged with protecting public health to establish a disease control program. The requirements for the program are included in the bill. A local health authority or organization would be allowed to charge a program participant a fee for each hypodermic needle or syringe used in the program not to exceed 150 percent of the actual cost of the needle or syringe.

A local health authority or organization that operates a disease control program established under the provisions of the bill would be required to annually submit certain information about the effectiveness of the program to the Department of State Health Services.

The bill would establish exceptions to offenses related to possession or delivery of drug paraphernalia as manufacture, possession, and distribution apply to the disease control program.

Any administrative costs to the state regarding information submitted to the Department of State Health Services could be absorbed within existing resources.

Local Government Impact

Costs to a local health authority or organization would vary and would be partially offset by fees charged. It is assumed that an authority or organization would establish a program only if sufficient resources existed within the authority's or organization's budget.

Examples of possible costs were provided by some of the applicable entities. Each identified expenses to include new staff, capital outlay, associated supplies, and operational costs of approximately $302,600 the first year in Houston, $102.193 in fiscal year 2010 in San Antonio, and $106,000 in Conroe. For the larger entities, these costs are not significant; however, for smaller entities, such as Conroe, the costs would be considered significant.

Source Agencies:
537 State Health Services, Department of
LBB Staff: