Policy UpdatesTexas Senate Committee on Finance – SB 500

Texas Senate Committee on Finance – SB 500

On March 11, 2019, John Petrila, JD, MMHPI Vice President of Adult Policy, was invited testimony on SB 500 at the Texas Senate Committee on Finance. Senate Bill 500 was an appropriations bill filed by Senator Jane Nelson. Section 10 of SB 500 included a proposed additional $300M to continue improvements to state hospital facilities.


counties served for children and adolescents in the Austin State Hospital catchment area*


counties served for adults and adolescents in San Antonio State Hospital catchment area*


approximate number of adults with mental illness admitted to ASH catchment area emergency departments in 2016*


funding request for Austin State Hospital Phase II construction projects*

*as of date of testimony

During his testimony, Mr. Petrila provided background on Phase I and Phase II Projects for Austin State Hospital (ASH) and San Antonio State Hospital (SASH).

The 85th Texas Legislature appropriated $300 million through 85(R) SB 1 for new state hospital planning and construction. This was intended as Phase I of a three-phased approach to transforming the state hospital system.

Mr. Petrila’s testimony also laid out the role MMHPI played in the pre-planning and planning process with Austin State Hospital and San Antonio State Hospital including interviews, bed capacity, emergency department and inpatient psychiatry admissions.