Senate Health and Human Services Committee on SB 200

Testimony to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee

Chairman Schwertner and members of the Committee, I am Eileen Garcia with Texans Care for Children. Texans Care for Children is a statewide nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated solely to improving outcomes for Texas children through policy change. We look to our broad base of community-based partners throughout the state -- who together represent thousands of Texas children-- to inform our work and help us in developing our legislative agenda. We also co-convene various stakeholder groups which bring together a wide range of organizations, families, and advocates around our areas of focus, which are: early opportunities; infant, child and maternal health; children’s mental health; child welfare; and juvenile justice.

Texans Care for Children urges you to not pursue a massive bureaucratic overhaul at this time. We appreciate the time that has gone into the review of our agencies and applaud the numerous possible important improvements that have been identified. We appreciate the quality measures that SB 200 champions such as increased public access to state agency decision-making through video-streaming of council meetings and improved health care delivery by requiring that managed care organizations fully integrate behavioral health into primary care. However, we ask that the numerous critical reforms envisioned in the Sunset reports and the other Sunset bills themselves not be impeded by the monumental task of building a new consolidated health and human services mega-agency.

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