Policy Updates87th Texas Legislature Regular Session Wrap Up

87th Texas Legislature Regular Session Wrap Up

SUMMARY – Throughout what was a challenging and, at times, divisive legislative session, one area of full agreement among state leaders was that mental health continues to be paramount to Texas’ present and future.


in behavioral health funding across 25 state agencies


toward State Hospital System Redesign


to fund the state's ongoing shift to Community-Based Care for children in the foster care system


to establish the Texas Law Enforcement Peer Network, addressing mental health conditions and suicide rates among officers

Funding the Texas Legislature appropriated in the 87th Legislative Session.

Heading into the 87th Legislative Session, the state was bracing for the worst as economic turmoil and the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic foretold what most expected would be a lean, painful biennium. However, while subsequent events, starting with a better-than-expected revenue projection, eased the need for full austerity, the state’s continued commitment to mental health was crystal clear.

By the end of the session, the Texas Legislature had appropriated $8.44 billion to behavioral health across 25 state agencies, an increase of roughly $350 million over the previous biennium.

The Meadows Institute summarized the 87th Legislative Session by highlighting bills that addressed the following areas:

  • Scaling up the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium

  • Collaborative Care in Medicaid

  • State Hospital System Redesign

  • Building on Accomplishments

  • Multisystemic Therapy Capacity for Texas Youth

  • Texas Law Enforcement Peer Network

View 87th Session Wrap Up

Virtual Legislative Briefing Series

Issues surrounding mental health and appropriations to improve treatment and access to care have seen important gains over the last three sessions of the Texas Legislature. Following 2021’s regular session, the Meadows Institute worked with philanthropic organizations across the state to hold a series of briefings providing analysis of the 87th Session and how the steps it took will influence the delivery of mental health care in Texas and in specific regions.

To learn more, view the June 24, 2021, briefing for the Central Texas region, co-hosted by the Meadows Institute and St. David’s Foundation.