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    Legislative Services

    County Issues Newsletter | March 2023

    News Article | March 02, 2023

    Legislative Budget Board Posts Initial Decision Documents for House, Senate

    County News | Legislative News
    Legislative Services

    The initial decision documents for the Senate Finance and House Appropriations committees are now available online. The House decision documents do not include Health and Human Services agencies – Article II of the state budget – because the public testimony on HHS agencies has yet to conclude.

    The decision documents include items not in HB 1/SB 1. These initial documents reflect agency asks above amounts included in the introduced budget bills and agency requests for rider and other changes to HB 1/SB 1. You'll note that the House documents gray out agency requests related to Executive Director salary caps and IT, facility and infrastructure capital projects. Also, both decision documents gray out agency requests expected to receive funding in the 2023 supplemental appropriations bill. The full committee, additional subcommittees or work groups will decide on these items separately.

    On Thursday, Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) filed SB 30, the Senate's version of the 2023 supplemental appropriations bill for the 2022-23 budget. SB 30 continues funding ($2.3 billion) to increase the state's inpatient psychiatric bed capacity, adds $45 million for the county courthouse grant program, and includes $9.7 million to reimburse counties for holding juveniles committed, but not admitted, to Texas Juvenile Justice Department secure facilities due to staffing shortages. We'll have more on SB 30 in next week's County Issues newsletter.

    Specific agency requests above HB 1/SB 1 funding levels of interest to counties:

    • Texas Juvenile Justice Department: $40 million for a regional post-adjudication center in "under-resourced" West Texas to expand regional diversion capacity – funds to operate facility provided by counties.
    • The Governor’s Office – Trusteed Programs: $150 million for disaster (FEMA) matching grant assistance.
    • Department of Motor Vehicles: $12.4 million to provide an additional 25% in state aid for pre- and post-adjudication facilities to expand detention and residential placement options for counties.
    • Health and Human Services Commission (Senate decision document):
      • $19 million for Sunrise Canyon Psychiatric Hospital operating funds due to a capacity increase funded by SB 8, 87th Legislature, Third Called Session. Sunrise Canyon is a unit of a Local Mental Health Authority that serves West Texas.
      • $34.6 million for the 264-bed John S. Dunn Center in Houston (in addition to $64 million in SB 1), which will begin accepting patients this month.
      • $170.4 million to begin constructing a new 300-bed state hospital in Dallas.

    For more on the information in this article, please contact Zelma Smith.