Saturday, March 21, 2009

Actions referred to committees

Here are some relevant bills that were referred to committees yesterday, 3/20/09:

SB 1626 Wentworth

Relating to the reporting of certain confidential statements made to a mental health professional.

Health & Human Services

If passed, this bill compels mental health professionals to warn law enforcement if their client threatens a third party. At present, there is no duty to warn in Texas.

SB 1627 Wentworth

Relating to the collection of biometric identifiers of certain persons receiving inpatient mental health services.

Health & Human Services

Not sure of the utility or reasoning why we need the fingerprints and DNA of those committed to Vernon State Hospital. Any thoughts?

SB 1648 Van de Putte

Relating to providing outreach and behavioral health services to certain military service veterans and their families and providing for the creation of clinical practice guidelines.

Veteran Affairs & Military Installations

It would appear that this bill will allow DSHS funded community MHMR centers to provide behavioral healthcare to veterans. Also, these services would be reimbursed by the VA.

SB 1665 Wentworth

Relating to post-commitment treatment and supervision of persons with mental illness who are manifestly dangerous.

Health & Human Services

It would appear that the intent of this bill is to allow the conditional release of mental health patients who were once considered manifestly dangerous into outpatient treatment. It would appear that there is a great deal of conditions with a significant financial burden for community centers. Will the lege transfer the inpatient funding resources to the outpatient community centers? I seriously doubt it. This has always been the problem with outpatient commitment options. I would like to see the research and cost analysis on this proposal before I agree with it.

SB 1786 Whitmire

Relating to requiring the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to establish a comprehensive reentry and reintegration plan for offenders released or discharged from a correctional facility.

Criminal Justice

Looking at the text, this bill looks good, no, great! It even includes continuity with the family with special attention for the child(ren) of the offender. Again, funding is the key. There are some federal reentry grants out there, but these will only go so far.

SB 1847 Hegar

Relating to the provision of services to a wrongfully imprisoned person who is discharged from a correctional facility.

Criminal Justice

SB 1848 West

Relating to the provision of reentry, reintegration, and other services to a wrongfully imprisoned person who is discharged from a correctional facility.

Criminal Justice

I will look at committee assignments earlier in the week to see if there are anything of interest.

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