CTD has built a reputation as one of the foremost advocates in the state for public policy that protects and benefits Texans with disabilities. Whether the Legislature is in session or we're in an interim year, be assured that CTD is working for you at the Capitol!
Just jumping in for the 2017 Legislative Session? Download a quick overview of our Top Legislative Priorities, or view the archive of our Jan 9. Legislative Briefing.
Our full, web-based Legislative Agenda below will be updated regularly throughout session and includes links to more information about issues and opportunities to take action.
Top Priority Issues
1. Community Services
The freedom for all to work, live, learn, play, and participate fully in one’s community of choice is written directly into our mission. CTD seeks out opportunities to encourage policy that increases independence and access for Texans with disabilities, wherever they choose to be.
- Raise the base wage of community attendants to $13 per hour.
- Reduce the waiting lists for community Medicaid waivers.
- Increase the number of Promoting Independence community living placements.
- Restore relocation contracts to community-based organizations.
- CTD supports TEXCIL, a network of Centers for Independent Living (CILs) directors in Texas, in their work to restore $5 M in state contracts for the relocation of people from nursing homes back to the community to the community-based CILs.
2. Children's Issues
- Restore Medicaid Therapies Cuts (Rider 50)
- Reform Special Education, including eliminating TEA's 8.5% enrollment cap.
- Protect and expand funding for Early Childhood Intervention (ECI)
- Address the foster care management system and refocus efforts for mental health services.
- Support a statewide ban on distracted driving (aka texting while driving).
- Strengthen accessible parking enforcement, increase public education, and limit placard abuse.
- Include accessibility and stakeholder input in legislation regarding Transportation Network Companies (TNCs).
- CTD will continue our work with Parking Mobility to promote our accessible parking goals.
- Support the Employment 1st Take Force recommendations, in particular, the inclusion of entrepreneurs with disabilities in HUB (historically underutilized business) eligibility.
5. Access to Healthcare
- Strengthen patient protections and transparency in both commercial and Medicaid programs.
- Limit the use of barriers to access, like over utilization of prior authorizations and step therapies.
- Encourage practices to improve patient medication adherence through the use of prescription drug synchronization.
- CTD continues our support of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health's efforts to expand mental health peer support services in Texas.
- CTD's Dennis Borel will serve as Chair of the Texas Oral Health Coalition (TxOHC)'s Legislative Committee during the 85th Legislature to promote sorely needed access to oral health care among Texans with disabilities.
- CTD continues our support of Texas Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism (Texas MAMMA) in their work of legally pursuing medicinal cannabis as a safe, effective, and therapeutic treatment option for children with disabilities.
- This session, CTD proudly joins the Coalition of Health and Human Services Advocates, a group working against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and Block Granting or Caps on Medicaid.
The State Budget is a critical factor to support and promote independence for Texans with disabilities. Successful advocacy is near impossible without an eye on appropriate funding, which is why we give it its own section. Budget notes are included in many of our priorities above.
- CTD continues our work with the Texas Forward coalition to promote a State Budget that adequately funds Texas' needs.
Currently, the State of Texas claims sovereign immunity in cases involving the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a landmark federal law guaranteeing full civil rights to people with disabilities. This argument has successfully prevented persons claiming discrimination based on disability from having their day in court.
After major successes in the 84th Legislature, we are returning this session to finish up our work with the Guardianship Reform and Supported Decision Making Workgroup. Namely, changing the impersonal term “Ward” to “Person under guardianship” and establishing Duties of Guardians to improve protections for individuals committed to institutional settings.
The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act allows Americans with disabilities to open their own savings accounts and maintain their Medicaid eligibility. While this is important watershed legislation by the federal government, individual states must pass enablement legislation. CTD led the way in passing the ABLE Act in Texas and continues to monitor and give input during its rollout.
State Supported Living Centers (SSLCs) are state run institutions for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The population has been declining for years and costs continue to skyrocket, while waiting lists to receive services in community settings continue to grow. We support efforts to consolidate Texas' SSLC system and redirect savings to community services.