Policy UpdatesTexas House Committee on Defense & Veterans’ Affairs – SB 822

Texas House Committee on Defense & Veterans’ Affairs – SB 822

SUMMARY – On May 6, 2019, Kyle Mitchell, JD, MMHPI Senior Director of Veteran and Military Policy, was invited testimony on SB 822 at the Texas House Committee on Defense & Veterans’ Affairs.  Senate Bill 822, relating to the administration of a grant program to support community mental health programs for veterans and their families, was filed by Senator Jane Nelson.  

$20 million

appropriated per biennium by the Texas Legislature since the 84th Legislative Session to the TV+FA grant program

Mr. Mitchell’s testimony on SB 822 to the House Committee on Defense & Veterans’ Affairs included context from past legislative sessions:

  • 84(R) SB 55 (Nelson) directed the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to establish an innovative grant program, known as the Texas Veterans + Family Alliance (TV+FA), to support community mental health programs that provide and coordinate mental health services and treatment for Texas veterans and their families.
  • The 85th Texas Legislature expanded this innovative funding model to other populations through the creation of two new mental health grant programs. These new grant programs differed from 84(R) SB 55 in two important ways:
    – Both grant programs set a lower match requirement for rural areas
    – Neither grant program required HHSC to have a qualified nonprofit or private entity to serve as the administrator

This bill – 86(R) SB 822 (Nelson) – aligns the requirements of TV+FA with those of the two new mental health grant programs established by the 85th Texas Legislature.