Austin, Texas
May 13, 2019

Honorable Lois W. Kolkhorst, Chair, Senate Committee on Health & Human Services
John McGeady, Assistant Director     Sarah Keyton, Assistant Director
Legislative Budget Board
HB10 by Thompson, Senfronia (Relating to the creation of the Texas Mental and Behavioral Health Research Institute.), Committee Report 2nd House, Substituted

Depending on the amount of funding distributed by the Texas Mental and Behavioral Health Research Institute, there would be some fiscal impact to the state.

The bill would establish the Texas Mental and Behavioral Health Research Institute. The institute would be administratively attached to the Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), which could use up to 3 percent of the institute's funds for providing administrative support to the institute.
The institute would leverage the expertise and capacity of its member health-related institutions of higher education (HRIs) to address urgent mental health challenges and improve the state's mental health care system; enhance the state's ability to address mental health care needs; and create best practices, leadership, and vision for addressing child and adolescent behavioral health needs and provide funding for researching behavioral health issues.
The institute would consist of thirteen HRIs, the Health and Human Services Commission, THECB, three nonprofit organizations that focus on mental health care designated by a majority of the member HRIs, and any other entity considered necessary by the executive committee.
The executive committee would provide funding to member HRIs for research efforts; disseminating best-practice guidelines; recruiting researchers and clinicians; training students, residents, and fellows in connection to a research effort under the bill; and clinical trials, studies, or other patient programs approved by an institutional review board.
The bill would also require the institute's executive committee to establish a mental health and substance use disorder research program to provide funding to member HRIs for a range of activities related to researching, preventing, and treating conditions related to mental health and substance use. The institute would be allowed to prioritize funding awards to an HRI that applies in partnership with a state agency or other institution. The executive committee would establish a review process for selecting research projects for funding. The process would be required to evaluate research projects on their alignment with the statewide behavioral health strategic plan and their focus on preventing and treating certain mental health conditions and substance use disorders.
The cost, timing, and institutional recipients of the funding authorized by the bill are not known. Costs of the funding may vary depending on the size, infrastructure, and existing resources of the member institutions.
For illustrative purposes, the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth estimated they would need approximately $2.9 million over the next biennium to implement the provisions of the bill. Their estimate includes costs related to hiring providers (including behavioral health specialists and a pharmacist), faculty, and staff members; telemedicine units for each provider; and ongoing administrative costs. Costs at other HRIs would vary depending on the staff and infrastructure currently available to implement provisions of the bill.
The institute, including its executive and oversight committees, would be required to implement a provision of the bill only if the legislature appropriates money specifically for that purpose. If the legislature does not appropriate money specifically for that purpose, the institute may, but is not required to, implement the provision using other money available to the institute for that purpose.
The institute would be eligible to receive funding through the proceeds of revenue if a constitutional amendment providing for the dedication of certain sales and use tax revenue to fund research, treatment, and substance use and addiction issues is approved by the voters.
The Health and Human Services Commission and Department of State Health Services indicate no significant costs to their agencies.

Local Government Impact

The fiscal implications of the bill cannot be determined at this time. There could be some impact to local units of government who partner with an IHE that is awarded funding under the provisions of the bill.

Source Agencies:
529 Health and Human Services Commission, 537 State Health Services, Department of, 710 Texas A&M University System Administrative and General Offices, 720 The University of Texas System Administration, 768 Texas Tech University System Administration, 781 Higher Education Coordinating Board, 783 University of Houston System Administration, 347 Public Finance Authority, 352 Bond Review Board, 515 Board of Pharmacy, 758 Texas State University System, 769 University of North Texas System Administration, 507 Texas Board of Nursing, 212 Office of Court Administration, Texas Judicial Council
LBB Staff: