The Office of Speaker Dennis Bonnen has released a list of interim charges for respective House committees to examine over the interim and leading into the 2021 Legislative Session. Committees are assigned these charges and also may review other issues within their jurisdiction.
The House Committee on Human Services is tasked to review implementation of recently passed foster care related bills, many of which were championed by Texas CASA. The Committee will review the following legislation and oversee proper implementation:
- HB 53, which expands the transitional living services program for youth in foster care.
- HB 72, which allows continued access to intensive Medicaid services postadoption for a child adopted out of state foster care with a chronic health condition. Examine the process by which HHSC and the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) develop a mechanism to provide access to those intensive Medicaid services and ensure the continuum of care is strengthened for a child transitioning between the foster care system and adoption.
- HB 123, which allows youth in foster care or a youth experiencing homelessness to receive a copy of their birth certificate and apply for a driver’s license or state ID without paying a fee and without parental consent in certain cases. Conduct oversight of the coordination between DFPS, the Department of Public Safety and local officials to implement this legislation.
- HB 1702, which expands the role of foster care liaisons at public institutions of higher education to assist students who were formerly in the foster care system.
- HHSC Rider 35, which requires HHSC to evaluate the number of former foster youth who do not renew Medicaid to maintain continuous health coverage until their 26th birthday and develop recommendations to improve the rate at which they renew Medicaid coverage.
The Committee on Juvenile Justice and Family Issues will also examine and identify strategies to reduce vulnerabilities for youth who are at risk; as well as promote access to universal screenings, hotlines and support services, including victim services and compensation.