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Community Now! CALL TO ACTION!

April 16, 2009


A call to Action!


HB 1589 by Rep. Rose and SB 1060 by Senator Ellis will be heard in the House Human Services Committee and the Senate Health and Human Services Committee this Thursday, April 16th. These bills are companion bills which means they are exactly the same. The exact time of these bill will be heard is difficult to determine at this time. NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT.  Please contact the list of Committee Members on the house and senate committees requesting their support of these bills.  We must blitz these folks beginning this Monday. 

Bill Summary:

HB 1589 and SB 1060 call for a long term care reform through the development of a strategic plan to:

  • Create a system of services based on need not disability through self determination and consumer direction 

  • Increase monitoring and accountability of community services and supports 

  • Create a Steering Committee to close and consolidate some state institutions as the population decreases over an 8 year period 

  • Redirect resources from state institution closures to fund thewaiting lists.

This is an amazing bill and will carefully and judiciously put a plan in place to bring more equity to the provision of long term servicesfor Texans with disabilities.  This plan calls for a Strategic Plan to look at many, many issues including consolidation of state institutions.  Although there are other good bills out there regarding reform, HB 1589 and SB 1060 have a vision of comprehensive reform. These bills could set in motion a paradigm shift that will look to fund the waiting lists with existing resources by closing some of the state institutions.  This bill is fiscally sound and speaks to maintaining the facilities needed to provide services for those who choose to remain in a state institution while shifting resources through closure of the facilities no longer needed. 


When you call or email, here are some suggested talking points:

  • I need your support of this bill (SB 1060 or HB 1589) to bring equity and real choice to people with disabilities and where they would like to live.  
  • Texans with disabilities can immediately go into an institution which is their choice, however those on waiting lists DO NOT have a choice but to WAIT.  This is not a real choice
  •  Please protect the CHOICE of those on waiting lists to live in the community 
  •  WE need a long range strategic plan to re-balance long term care by consolidating the state institutions we no longer need and re-directing funds to the waiting lists.
  • We need a system that provides services based on needs not disability labels. 

  • We need to make sure that community services are exceptional and accountable. 

  • We need you to know that community services are less expensive than institutional care as evidenced by the Legislative Budget Board report. 

  • We need you to care about the 88,000 people waiting with as much passion as you care about those living in institutions. 

  • Will you support this bill?

Click for contact info,

Senate Health and Human Services Committee Members (SB 1060)

Senator Nelson, Chair


Senator Deuell, Vice Chair 


Senator Huffman


Senator Nichols 


Senator Patrick


Senator Shapleigh


Senator Uresti


Senator West


Senator Zaffirini



House Human Service Committee Members (HB 1589)

Representative Rose, Chairman


Rep. Herrero, Vice Chairman


Rep. Darby


Rep. Elkins


Rep. Hernandez


Rep. Hughes


Rep. Legler


Rep. Naishtat


Rep. Walle




If you live in one of these legislators districts, please let them know that you are a constituent from their district. Also, be direct and brief and add your own personal story into the mix.  Please carve out some time to make these calls and/or emails.  It is critical to the success of the pushing these bills through the process. 

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