Office of the Governor Rick Perry

RP 13 - Relating to community-based alternatives for people with disabilities

Thursday, April 18, 2002  •  Executive Order

by the
GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF TEXAS
Executive Department
Austin, Texas
April 18, 2002

WHEREAS, The State of Texas is committed to providing community-based alternatives for people with disabilities and recognizes that such services and supports advance the best interests of all Texans; and

WHEREAS, it is imperative that consumers and their families have a choice from among the broadest range of supports to most effectively meet their needs in their homes, community settings, state facilities or other residential settings; and

WHEREAS, as Governor, I am committed to ensuring that people with disabilities have the opportunity to enjoy full lives of independence, productivity and self-determination; and

WHEREAS, working with the Texas Legislature last session as Governor, I signed legislation totaling $101.5 million dollars in general revenue to expand community waiver services; and

WHEREAS, also last session, I signed legislation promoting independence for people with disabilities and directing agencies to redesign service delivery to better support people with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, programs such as Community Based Alternatives, Home and Community-based Services, and other community support programs provide opportunities for people to live productive lives in their home communities; and

WHEREAS, accessible, affordable and integrated housing is an integral component of independence for people with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, Texas recognizes the importance of keeping children in families, regardless of a child's disability, and support services allow families to care for their children in home environments;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Texas, do hereby order the following:

Review of State Policy. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission ("HHSC") shall review and amend state policies that impede moving children and adults from institutions when the individual desires the move, when the state's treatment professionals determine that such placement is appropriate, and when such placement can be reasonably accommodated, taking into account the resources available to the state and the needs of others who are receiving state-supported disability services.

Promoting Independence Plan. The Health and Human Services Commission shall ensure the Promoting Independence Plan is a comprehensive and effective working plan and thorough guide for increasing community services. HHSC shall regularly update the plan and shall evaluate and report on its implementation.

In the Promoting Independence Plan, HHSC shall report on the status of community-based services. In the plan, HHSC shall:

  1. update the analysis of the availability of community-based services as a part of the continuum of care;
  2. explore ways to increase the community care workforce;
  3. promote the safety and integration of people receiving services in the community; and
  4. review options to expand the availability of affordable, accessible and integrated housing.

Housing. The Health and Human Services Commission shall incorporate the efforts of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs ("TDHCA") to assure accessible, affordable, and integrated housing in the recommendations of the Texas Promoting Independence Plan.

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs shall provide in-house training of key staff on disability issues and technical assistance to local public housing authorities in order to prioritize accessible, affordable, and integrated housing for people with disabilities.

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs and HHSC shall maximize federal funds for accessible, affordable, and integrated housing for people with disabilities. These agencies, along with appropriate health and human services agencies, shall identify, within existing resources, innovative funding mechanisms to develop additional housing assistance for people with disabilities.

Employment. The Health and Human Services Commission shall direct the Texas Rehabilitation Commission and the Texas Commission for the Blind to explore ways to employ people with disabilities as attendants and review agency policies so they promote the independence of people with disabilities in community settings.

The Health and Human Services Commission shall coordinate efforts with the Texas Workforce Commission to increase the pool of available community-based service workers and to promote the new franchise tax exemption for employers who hire certain people with disabilities.

Families. The Health and Human Services Commission shall work with health and human services agencies to ensure that permanency planning for children results in children receiving support services in the community when such a placement is determined to be desirable, appropriate, and services are available.

The Health and Human Services Commission shall move forward with a pilot to develop and implement a system of family-based options to expand the continuum of care for families of children with disabilities.

Selected Essential Services Waiver. Dependent on its feasibility, HHSC shall direct the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation to implement a selected essential services waiver, using existing general revenue, in order to provide community services for people who are waiting for the Home and Community-based Services waiver.

Submission of Plan. The Health and Human Services Commission shall submit the updated Texas Promoting Independence Plan to the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the House, and the appropriate legislative committees no later than December 1st each even numbered year, beginning with December 1, 2002.

All affected agencies and other public entities shall cooperate fully with the Health and Human Services Commission during the research, analysis, and production of this plan. The plan should be made available electronically.

This executive order complements GWB 99-2 and supersedes all previous executive orders on community-based alternatives for people with disabilities. This order shall remain in effect until modified, amended, rescinded, or superseded by me or by a succeeding Governor.

Given under my hand this the
18th day of April, 2002.

RICK PERRY (signature)
Governor

GWYNN SHEA (signature)
Secretary of State
Governor's Initiatives:
Disability Initiatives »
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