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No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
The bill would amend the Health and Safety Code to require that certain offenders with a mental impairment,as described by the bill, be identified and qualified for the continuity of care system. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice and Department of State Health Services indicate that any costs associated with the bill could be absorbed within current resources. The bill would take effect September 1, 2015.
Local Government Impact:
Local Mental Health Authorities (LMHAs) and NorthSTAR providers would have to expand diagnostic eligibility criteria for admission to services.
Bluebonnet Trails Community Services reported a total cost of $148,893 including staff, transportation, and computers in fiscal year 2016 to comply with the provisions of the bill. There would be costs of $114,839 in fiscal year 2017, $195,340 in fiscal year 2018, $172,893 in fiscal year 2019 and $251,786 in fiscal year 2020 for additional staff, transportation,and computers. Williamson County Community Supervision and Corrections Department reported no fiscal impact.
While this legislation would expand the cost of taxpayer-funded government services. It would also likely limit future criminal justice costs by reducing recidivism for people with mental illnesses which would serve to limit the cost of government. Due to the offsetting negative and positive impacts to the cost of government at work in HB 1908 we remain neutral.
The second chamber sponsor is Senator Garcia.