Minutes — February 2016 Public Policy Committee Meeting

2016 Council and Committee Meetings

Attendance

Committee Members Present

  • Lora Taylor, Chair
  • Hunter Adkins
  • Patty Anderson, DRTx
  • Stephen Gersuk
  • Ruth Mason
  • Michael Peace
  • Brandon Pharris
  • Amy Sharp, UT — CDS
  • Meagan Sumbera, TAMU — CDD
  • Donnie Wilson, DADS
  • April Young, HHSC

Guests Present

  • Justin Babineaux, DADS
  • Shiloh Gonzalez, DARS
  • Darryl Powell

Staff Members Present

  • Belinda Carlton
  • Ashley Ford
  • Linda Logan
  • Jessica Ramos
  • Beth Stalvey

Call To Order

The Public Policy Committee convened on Thursday, February 4, 2016, in Colony Ballroom E of Sonesta Bee Cave Austin, 12525 Bee Cave Parkway, Bee Cave, TX, 78738. Public Policy Committee Chair Lora Taylor called those present to order at 1:45 p.m.

  1. Introductions
    Chair Taylor asked the Committee members, staff, and guests to introduce themselves and to share what their childhood dream job was and what their dream job is now.

  2. Public Comments
    No public comments were offered to the Committee.

  3. Consideration of Minutes
    The Committee reviewed the minutes from the November 5, 2015, Public Policy Committee meeting.

    MOTION: To approve the minutes of the November 5, 2015, Public Policy Committee meeting, as presented.
    MADE BY: Brandon Pharris
    SECOND: Michael Peace
    The motion passed by consensus.

  4. Chair’s Remarks
    Chair Taylor provided remarks about the American Epilepsy Society meeting she attended in November.

  5. Member Updates
    Committee member Ruth Mason and Chair Taylor shared their experiences visiting two day habilitation facilities in the Houston. They were inspired to gather more information about day habilitation facilities after the November 5 Public Policy Committee discussion about federal Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Settings Rule and day activity options for people with developmental disabilities. Mason and Taylor expressed that competitive employment and volunteer work are a priority for both visited facilities, but recognize the lack of available resources to help facilities’ program participants achieve meaningful days. They also expressed frustration regarding lack of employment coordination and funding. Both programs further identified that were it not for substantial private fundraising, they would not be able to achieve quality programming. The committee discussed the challenges day habilitation facilities face in providing meaningful days for their participants due to funding constraints, regulatory guidance, and community supports. Chair Taylor encouraged members to visit day habilitation facilities to help the Council better identify what changes are needed for improvement.

    Committee member Donnie Wilson informed the committee that the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) will begin the transition project for HCBS Settings Rules compliance in August.

    Wilson also introduced Justin Babineaux as the proposed alternate for DADS representation on the Council.

  6. Position Statement Review
    Chair Taylor presented the Emergency Preparedness Position Statement and explained the purpose of the recommended revisions.

    MOTION: To recommend Council approval of the Emergency Preparedness Position Statement as revised.
    MADE BY: Michael Peace
    SECOND: Hunter Adkins
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Chair Taylor presented the Family Support Position Statement and explained the purpose of the recommended revisions.

    MOTION: To recommend Council approval of the Family Support Position Statement as revised.
    MADE BY: Brandon Pharris
    SECOND: Hunter Adkins
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Chair Taylor presented the Guardianship and Supported Decision-Making Position Statement and explained the purpose of the recommended revisions.

    MOTION: To recommend Council approval of the Guardianship and Supported Decision-Making Position Statement as revised with one additional edit in the first sentence of the second paragraph to replace “which” with “that”.
    MADE BY: Brandon Pharris
    SECOND: Michael Peace
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Chair Taylor presented the Children and Families Position Statement and explained the purpose of the recommended revisions.

    MOTION: To recommend Council approval of the Children and Families Position Statement as revised with one additional edit in the third bullet to replace “personal assistant services” with “personal assistance services”.
    MADE BY: Brandon Pharris
    SECOND: Michael Peace
    The motion passed unanimously.

  1. Other Discussion Items
    Public Policy Specialist Linda Logan presented an update on the workplace bullying discussion outcomes binder document. Logan noted that TCDD’s efforts on this issue are substantial. Logan highlighted that the blog post, “Workplace Bullying: Know Your Rights” developed by TCDD staff and published on the TCDD website, was shared with over 400 participants in a national webinar hosted by Cornell University in January.

    Member Brandon Pharris expressed his satisfaction with workplace bullying outcomes and asked for continued support in his and other interested Council members’ advocacy efforts on this issue during the 2017 legislative session.

  1. Public Policy Issues
    Logan referred to the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) binder document regarding final federal appropriations for FY 2016 and noted that most programs impacting people with disabilities and families were funded at the same amount or greater FY 2015 levels. Members discussed the significance of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) programs receiving the largest increase in funds.

    Public Policy Specialist Belinda Carlton presented the affordable housing binder document and went over each program listed. Members discussed the importance of accessible, affordable, and integrated housing options being available for people with disabilities so that they may live independently in the community. Carlton also discussed the comments TCDD provided regarding the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) 2016 Draft State Low Income Housing Plan (SLIP) and Annual Report.

    Public Policy Assistant Ashley Ford presented the “More Children Growing Up in Families” binder document and discussed the progress made by Texas to help more children grow up in families, instead of institutions. Ford explained that permanency planning, Medicaid waiver programs, agency collaboration, and former TCDD project EveryChild, Inc. were key to Texas’ success.

    Public Policy Director Jessica Ramos presented the comments provided on HCBS Setting Rule surveys and reported that self-advocate feedback was key to editing the drafts of participant HCBS Settings Rule Surveys written by DADS and administered by Public Policy Research Institute (PPRI) surveyors. Ramos explained that efforts are being made to enter into a formal relationship with the Texas A&M Center on Disability and Development to provide Person-Centered Thinking training and guidance to the PPRI surveyors who are also responsible for gathering input for National Core Indicators.

    Ramos referred to the comments provided on the statewide transition plan (STP) for compliance with the HCBS Settings Rule handout and explained that the two most significant issues for compliance are day habilitation and personal spending. Ramos also referred to the Senate Bill 7 service delivery (IDD Redesign Pilot) public comment handout. TCDD’s submitted comments emphasize employment outcomes, consumer direction of day habilitation funds, and public-private partnerships for cross-system collaborations. Ramos stressed the importance of linking HCBS Settings Rule compliance with the managed care pilot for strategic coordination of services.

    Ramos presented the System Improvement Recommendations, a list of issues expected to be considered by the 85th Texas Legislature.

    Ramos reported that the Health and Human Services Legislative Oversight Committee meeting in January discussed the aging mental health facilities infrastructure, but not SSLC infrastructure. Ramos explained that plans to modernize the mental health hospital system will likely be the focus of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee hearing in April.

Adjourn

There being no further business, Committee Chair Lora Taylor adjourned the meeting at 3:50 p.m.

Beth Stalvey, Secretary to the Council