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MINUTES

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES

Thursday, March 12, 2009

10:00 a.m.

Senate Chamber

 

*****

 

 

 

Pursuant to a notice posted in accordance with Senate Rule 11.18, a public hearing of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services was held on Thursday, March 12, 2009, in the Senate Chamber.

 

*****

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:

 

MEMBERS ABSENT:

Senator Jane Nelson

Senator Bob Deuell

Senator Joan Huffman

Senator Robert Nichols

Senator Dan Patrick

Senator Eliot Shapleigh

Senator Carlos Uresti

Senator Royce West

Senator Judith Zaffirini

 

None

 

*****

 

The chair called the meeting to order at 10:02 a.m.  There being a quorum present, the following business was transacted: 

 

The chair laid out SB 479 and recognized the author, Senator Carona, to explain the bill. 

 

Senator Deuell sent up a committee substitute; the chair recognized Senator Carona to explain the difference between the committee substitute and the senate bill as filed. 

 

Senator Deuell moved adoption of the committee substitute; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Witnesses testifying and registering on the bill are shown on the attached list. 

 

The chair moved that the public testimony be closed; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Senator Deuell moved that SB 479 do not pass but that CSSB 479 be reported back to the Senate with the recommendation that it do pass and be printed.  The motion carried with a record vote of 9 ayes, 0 nay, 0 present not voting, and 0 absent. 

 

Senator Deuell assumed the chair. 

 

The chair laid out SB 73 and recognized the author, Senator Nelson, to explain the bill. 

 

Senator Nelson sent up a committee substitute; the chair recognized Senator Nelson to explain the difference between the committee substitute and the senate bill as filed. 

 

Senator Nelson moved adoption of the committee substitute; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Senator Uresti assumed the chair.

 

Witnesses testifying and registering on the bill are shown on the attached list. 

 

The chair moved that the public testimony be closed; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Senator Nelson moved that SB 73 be left pending; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Senator Deuell assumed the chair. 

 

The chair laid out SB 492 and recognized the author, Senator Nelson, to explain the bill. 

 

Witnesses testifying and registering on the bill are shown on the attached list. 

 

The chair moved that the public testimony be closed; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Senator Nelson moved that SB 492 be reported favorably to the Senate with the recommendation that it do pass and be printed.  The motion carried with a record vote of 9 ayes, 0 nay, 0 present not voting, and 0 absent. 

 

Senator Nelson resumed the chair.

 

The chair laid out SB 187 and recognized the author, Senator Deuell, to explain the bill. 

 

Witnesses testifying and registering on the bill are shown on the attached list. 

 

The chair moved that the public testimony be closed; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Senator Deuell moved that SB 187 be left pending; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

The chair laid out SB 584 and recognized the author, Senator Van de Putte, to explain the bill. 

 

Senator Deuell sent up Committee Amendment 1 and Senator Nelson moved adoption; without objection, the amendment was adopted. 

 

Senator Nelson requested unanimous consent to roll the amendment into a committee substitute; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Senator Deuell then moved that the committee substitute be adopted; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Senator Deuell moved that SB 584 do not pass but that CSSB 584 be reported back to the Senate with the recommendation that it do pass and be printed.  The motion carried with a record vote of 8 ayes, 0 nay, 0 present not voting, and 1 absent. 

 

Senator Deuell assumed the chair. 

 

The chair laid out SB 277 and recognized the author, Senator Nelson, to explain the bill. 

 

Senator Nelson sent up a committee substitute; the chair recognized Senator Nelson to explain the difference between the committee substitute and the senate bill as filed. 

 

Senator Nelson moved adoption of the committee substitute; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Witnesses testifying and registering on the bill are shown on the attached list. 

 

The chair moved that the public testimony be closed; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Senator Nelson moved that SB 277 be left pending; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

The chair laid out SB 87 and recognized the author, Senator Nelson, to explain the bill. 

 

Senator Nelson sent up Committee Amendment 1 and moved adoption; without objection, the amendment was adopted. 

 

Witnesses testifying and registering on the bill are shown on the attached list. 

 

The chair moved that the public testimony be closed; without objection, it was so ordered.   

 

Senator Nelson moved that SB 87 be left pending; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

The chair laid out SB 345 and recognized the author, Senator Nelson, to explain the bill. 

 

Senator Nelson sent up a committee substitute; the chair recognized Senator Nelson to explain the difference between the committee substitute and the senate bill as filed. 

 

Senator Nelson moved adoption of the committee substitute; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Witnesses testifying and registering on the bill are shown on the attached list. 

 

The chair moved that the public testimony be closed; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Senator Nelson moved that SB 345 be left pending; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Senator Nelson resumed the chair. 

 

The chair laid out SB 484 and recognized the author, Senator Deuell, to explain the bill. 

 

Witnesses testifying and registering on the bill are shown on the attached list. 

 

The chair moved that the public testimony be closed; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Senator Deuell moved that SB 484 be left pending; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Senator Nichols assumed the chair. 

 

The chair laid out SB 703 and recognized the author, Senator Nelson, to explain the bill. 

 

Witnesses testifying and registering on the bill are shown on the attached list. 

 

The chair moved that the public testimony be closed; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Senator Nelson moved that SB 703 be left pending; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

The chair laid out SB 527 and recognized the author, Senator Nelson, to explain the bill. 

 

Witnesses testifying and registering on the bill are shown on the attached list. 

 

The chair moved that the public testimony be closed; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Senator Nelson moved that SB 527 be reported favorably to the Senate with the recommendation that it do pass and be printed.  The motion carried with a record vote of 9 ayes, 0 nay, 0 present not voting, and 0 absent. 

 

Senator Deuell assumed the chair. 

 

As a matter of pending business, the chair brought up SB 87.

 

Senator Nelson requested unanimous consent to roll the amendment into a committee substitute; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Senator Nelson then moved that the committee substitute be adopted; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Senator Nelson moved that SB 87 do not pass but that CSSB 87 be reported back to the Senate with the recommendation that it do pass and be printed.  The motion carried with a record vote of 9 ayes, 0 nay, 0 present not voting, and 0 absent. 

 

As a matter of pending business, the chair brought up SB 277.

 

Senator Nelson moved that SB 277 do not pass but that CSSB 277 be reported back to the Senate with the recommendation that it do pass and be printed.  The motion carried with a record vote of 9 ayes, 0 nay, 0 present not voting, and 0 absent.

 

As a matter of pending business, the chair brought up SB 345.

 

Senator Nelson moved that SB 345 do not pass but that CSSB 345 be reported back to the Senate with the recommendation that it do pass and be printed.  The motion carried with a record vote of 9 ayes, 0 nay, 0 present not voting, and 0 absent.

 

As a matter of pending business, the chair brought up SB 703.

 

Senator Nelson moved that SB 703 be reported favorably to the Senate with the recommendation that it do pass and be printed.  The motion carried with a record vote of 9 ayes, 0 nay, 0 present not voting, and 0 absent. 

 

As a matter of pending business, the chair brought up SB 346.

 

Senator Nelson moved that SB 346 do not pass but that CSSB 346 be reported back to the Senate with the recommendation that it do pass and be printed.  The motion carried with a record vote of 9 ayes, 0 nay, 0 present not voting, and 0 absent.

 

As a matter of pending business, the chair brought up SB 476.

 

Senator Huffman sent up Committee Amendment 1 and moved adoption; without objection, the amendment was adopted. 

 

Senator Shapleigh sent up Committee Amendment 2 and moved adoption; without objection, the amendment was adopted. 

 

Senator Nelson requested unanimous consent to roll the amendments into a committee substitute; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Senator Nelson then moved that the committee substitute be adopted; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Senator Nelson moved that SB 476 do not pass but that CSSB 476 be reported back to the Senate with the recommendation that it do pass and be printed.  The motion carried with a record vote of 8 ayes, 0 nay, 1 present not voting, and 0 absent. 

 

As a matter of pending business, the chair brought up SB 531.

 

Senator Nelson moved that SB 531 do not pass but that CSSB 531 be reported back to the Senate with the recommendation that it do pass and be printed.  The motion carried with a record vote of 7 ayes, 0 nay, 0 present not voting, and 2 absent.

 

The chair laid out SB 705 and recognized the author, Senator Nelson, to explain the bill. 

 

Senator Uresti assumed the chair. 

 

Witnesses testifying and registering on the bill are shown on the attached list. 

 

The chair moved that the public testimony be closed; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Senator Deuell assumed the chair. 

 

Senator Nelson moved that SB 705 be left pending; without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

Senator Nelson resumed the chair. 

 

There being no further business, at 2:59 p.m. Senator Nelson moved that the Committee stand recessed subject to the call of the chair.  Without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

 

 

 

 

_____________________________

Senator Jane Nelson, Chair

 

 

_____________________________

Kyle Baum, Clerk

 

 

 

 

TEXAS SENATE STAFF SERVICES

JCW:rmJ330IHHCR031209CD1/031609

SENATE HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE

EXCERPT: CHRIS RODRIGUEZ TESTIMONY

MARCH 12, 2009

COMPACT DISC 1

 

1

 

(Senator Nelson in the Chair)

 

          CHAIR                                    :         Chris, go 'head.

          RODRIGUEZ                          :         Yes, Ma'am. I'll make this short and sweet, this is pretty much just reiterating a lot of the stuff that y'all just went through. But, first and foremost, let me start by expressing ~y appreciation for allowing me the opportunity to speak here today. It's an honor and a I privilege to take part of the legislative process, one that I believe should be coveted and seldom taken lightly, so, thank you. My name is Chris Rodriguez. I'm here today to express my sincere support, and, of course, to I urge you to do the same for Senate Bill 187. This bill would allow middleclass families with incomes up to 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, the opportunity to purchase Medicaid coverage for their children and youth with special health care needs. I come to you today as a son of two very dedicated and hardworking Texans back in Houston, and as the sole sibling of my brother, TJ, an a--an (astonishinly) (sic) inspirational character, from whom I've gathered the majority of my inspiration, my compassion, and my purpose. TJ's, from birth, w--has had an intellectual disability and Cerebral Palsy, for (heven) (sic), for him, even the most remedial of tasks, such as walking, bathing, and expressing himself, act as incomprehensible challenges and struggles. With that being said, he's one of the happiest people I've ever had the privilege to know, he has a jolly disposition, and is always eager to lend a comforting smile. In addition, and indefinitely, as a result of the former, I've made it my desire to pursue a place in the disability field. I currently sit on the executive staff as The Arc of, at The Arc of Texas, as their Director of Chapter Services. This position has allowed me the distinct occasion to visit hundreds of parents and family members with people of multiple disabilities across the state, each one a little different from the other, but all encompassing the same desires for their sons or daughters with disabilities. Those deli--those desires not being so different from those of any other parent. They want their child to have the best chancel to be happy, a chance to become one day independent, and to become successful, and accomplish in their pursuits, whatever those might be. With that being said, I sit before you, not as an expert in Medicaid or health care, but as an extension of a very particular segment of your constituency. The mothers, fathers, and other family members, people, specifically children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, many of whom fall under the children and youth with special educa--excuse me, special health care needs. I share their struggles, I see their obstacles. I can say with a strong degree of confidence and certainty that supporting Senate Bill 187 will help these people, many of whom have had to decline well deserved raises, shy away from occupations that weigh heavily on overtime pay, and even. go as far as to divorce their spouse in order to maintain the financial eligibilities to ensure that their children receive comprehensive health care. Health care that can be provided through Medicaid, but that is all too often neglected by a private


TEXAS SENATE STAFF SERVICES

JCW:rml330IHHCR031209CD1/031609

SENATE HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE

EXCERPT: CHRIS RODRIGUEZ TESTIMONY

MARCH 12, 2009

COMPACT DISC 1

 

2

 

c--insurance companies.  It is certainly no secret that children with intellectual and development disabilities often require more significant medical attention. Likewise, it is no secret that many private insurance claims obtained through employment do not adequately meet those needs, often placing limits on essential services, if not excluding them all together. Senate Bill 187 would offer the opportunity for Medicaid to supplement these areas where those private insurance companies failed to act.

                                                          :         (Beeping sounds in the background)

          RODRIGUEZ                          :         Okay. I'll just go to the, the last part, I just wanna say that we definitely support this, tha--of all the families that I have seen across the state, they're in desperate need for this kind of health care, and it's unfortunate the circumstances that they place themselves in, in order to secure that. Thank you again for the privilege to speak here today and for your pursuit and passion towards public service. I appreciate it.

          CHAIR                                    :         Senators, questions?

          SHAPLEIGH                           :         Can, can we—

          CHAIR                                    :         Senator Shapleigh.

          SHAPLEIGH                           :         --just make his written comments part of the record?

          CHAIR                                    :         Sure.

          SHAPLEIGH                           :         (So we can) capture them?

          CHAIR                                    :         Sure we can. And, the individuals, for whom you advocate, are very fortunate to have you advocating for them.

                                                          :         Thank you.

 

END OF EXCERPT