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Summary: SB 944 would add licensed mental health service units to the list of facilities whose employees are subject to criminal history background checks because they elderly, disabled, or terminally ill patients. The list already includes, among others, assisted living facilities, adult day care facilities, and facilities that provide mental health services within the Department of state Health Services.
Analysis: SB 944 would make employees of mental health service units, such as food service workers as noted in the bill analysis, subject to criminal background checks. Many health care facilities are already subject to background checks and SB 944 is an extension of this broad effort to vet workers dealing with Texas’ most vulnerable health care patients. Private mental health facilities should set their own policies regarding which employees need background checks. This legislation constitutes expansion of government by subjecting another group of within the private sector to background checks as a precondition for employment. We oppose SB 944 because it expands government regulation.