House Committee on County Affairs - 86th R.S. (2019)
Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 86th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:
HB 2169, which relates to female prisoners who are confined in county jails. Monitor the Texas Commission on Jail Standards' adoption of reasonable rules and procedures establishing minimum standards for the quantity and quality of feminine hygiene products provided to a female prisoner.
- HB 1651, which relates to the care of pregnant women confined in county jail. Monitor Texas Commission on Jail Standards rules regulating the jail's use of any type of restraints to control or restrict the movement of a prisoner who is confirmed to be pregnant or who gave birth in the preceding 12 weeks.
- HB 3116, which relates to the creation of a task force to conduct a comprehensive study on best practice standards for the detention of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Monitor the Texas Commission on Jail Standards' creation of a task force to address best practice standards for the detention of a person with an intellectual or developmental disability, as well as subsequent findings presented by the task force.
- HB 4289, which creates a health care provider participation program, including a local provider participation fund, for counties throughout the state. Monitor the implementation of the legislation in various counties. Review how local governments and counties are using those funds to meet local needs.
- HB 4468, which relates to county jails and community mental health programs in certain counties. Monitor the Texas Commission on Jail Standards' rules regulating access to mental health professionals.
- SB 1849, 85th Legislature, Regular Sessopm, which revised laws relating to interactions between law enforcement and individuals with mental illness or intellectual disabilities. Review and evaluate crisis prevention and pre-arrest diversion programs in both rural and urban areas. Consider models for expansion and ensure people with behavioral health needs receive appropriate services before entering the criminal justice system. Review the expansion of the community collaboratives grant program under the legislation.
- Review the overall state of indigent defense and delivery of services to indigent defendants in Texas under the Fair Defense Act and other applicable laws. Examine the procedures for the appointment of counsel, including public defender options for rural communities, the monitoring of workloads and performance of attorneys, and the funding of those services. Examine counsel options for indigent defendants during magistrate proceedings and the administration and funding of county indigent defense systems.(Joint charge with the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence)
- Examine the frequency of arrests and incarceration of people with behavioral health needs in county jails. Specifically, the committee should study the availability of and access to behavioral health services, including recovery services utilized in the county jail systems of Texas; the efficacy of counties that use law enforcement officers and personnel trained in the Crisis Intervention Team program and jail diversion rates; and the frequency of mental health services used in rural counties in comparison to those incarcerated who are living with a mental health disorder.
- Monitor the State Auditor's review of agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction. The Chair shall seek input and periodic briefings on completed audits for the 2019 and 2020 fiscal years and bring forth pertinent issues for full committee consideration.
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