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Rep.Schaefer, Matt

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NEW LAW PROVIDES BETTER ACCESS TO CARE FOR INTELLECTUALLY DISABLED  print page

by: Rep. Schaefer, Matt
06/18/2019

Austin, TX - Steven Campbell had the facilities to care for individuals with intellectual disabilities - he just didnít have permission.

As Executive Director of Breckenridge Village in Tyler (BVT), Texas, a faith-based community for adults with mild to moderate intellectual and developmental disabilities, Campbell grew weary of telling many families that they would have to find another location to care for their loved one or be placed on BVTís interest list.

Due to state rules, Texas hasn't issued new licenses or funding to expand intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICF-IID) in years.

"With strong support from the Tyler community, BVT has built three beautiful residences, but it has been very challenging to get the licenses needed to open them to families and individuals in need," said Campbell. "Now that House Bill 3117 has become law, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) will be able to assess and reallocate licenses, which helps communities such as Breckenridge serve individuals and families who need our care and services."

District 6 State Representative Matt Schaefer authored the bill, which provides more transparency and cuts the red tape associated with determining allocation for ICF-IID beds that have already been paid for in the state budget. The new law allows HHSC to look at the number of licenses that are available for redistribution and develop a process by which they can better allocate them to providers ready to serve individuals.

"These are special people created in Godís image," said Representative Schaefer. "I've had the opportunity on multiple occasions to meet and sit down with the individuals and staff at Breckenridge Village. I heard about all of the families who had to be placed on an interest list and perhaps wait years for a home and a bed that was ready, but empty. When it was clear that


they werenít able to access the care they needed just because of red tape, I fought to change the process. I thank Governor Abbott for signing this bill."

"I am thankful for Representative Schaefer hearing BVTís need and responding. Since day one, he was very engaged and successful in winning bipartisan support for changing state law to help disabled Texans in need,Ē said Campbell. ďHis heart and passion for these individuals is evident through the work he and his staff have shown through this process. It's been a long process, but he's been there every step of the way.Ē

Governor Gregg Abbott signed the bill on June 13, 2019, which becomes law on September 1, 2019. "This legislation means the world to us," added Campbell. "We get calls on a daily basis from families trying to get their loved ones placed with us. Now, with this new law and HHSCís support, we'll finally be able to give these families and their children a home."

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Capitol Address:
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Room E2.510

P.O. Box 2910

Austin, TX 78768

(512) 463-0584

200 E. Ferguson, Ste. 506

Tyler, TX 75702

(903) 592-0900

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