The Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate each approved their versions of the 2018–2019 biennial budget. At six percent below 2016–2017 spending levels adjusted for population growth and inflation, neither budget adequately addresses the health and human services needs of Texans with disabilities.
Very few disability-related items were fully adopted into the health and human services section of the Texas budget. The bulk of the funding requests were moved to a section of the budget known as the “wish list” category. For the first time in a decade, neither chamber considered additional funding for interest list reduction. Attendant wages also were not considered by the 85th Texas Legislature. Therefore, interest lists will continue to grow beyond the current 132,000 people waiting for community-based programs, and the attendant wage floor will remain $8 per hour.
TCDD staff compared the House and Senate budgets and analyzed how the budgets could affect disability-related programs and services in Texas. The complete comparison, including analysis and next steps, is available on TCDD’s House and Senate Budget Comparison webpage. Below is a list of some of the topics included in the comparison:
- Community waiver maintenance
- Cost containment directives
- Early Childhood Intervention (ECI)
- Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Settings Rule compliance (related to day habilitation/meaningful day)
- Promoting Independence
- Rate reductions for pediatric therapy, Home and Community-based Services (HCS), and Texas Home Living (TxHmL)
- State Supported Living Centers (SSLCs)