HB 4117

85(R) - 2017
House County Affairs
House County Affairs

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Garnet F. Coleman

Bill Caption

Relating to the provision of telemental health services to prisoners confined in county jails, including the creation of the county jail telemental health fund, and to certain rules and procedures relating to the safety of those prisoners.. 

Fiscal Notes

There could be an indeterminate cost to the state to establish a telemental health dedicated fund depending on the amounts provided by certain funding sources.

The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill. 

Bill Analysis

This bill would establish a dedicated account in the general fund. If this bill passes, the fund would consist of funds appropriated from the general revenue fund and gifts, grants, and other donations. Counties that qualify for disbursements would have to have a certified capacity of 96 prisoners or fewer. The Commission on Jail Standards would be appropriated the funds to pay for programs, training, and capital improvements that are necessary to improve or implement telemental health services. 

In addition, this bill would task the Commission on Jail Standards with adopting reasonable rules and procedures to ensure the safety of prisoners, including rules and procedures that require a county jail to provide access to a mental health professional either on site, or through a telemental health service 24 hours a day. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

We oppose creating new dedicated accounts which tend to make fiscal issues less transparent. On the other hand we do support making access to healthcare easier and costs reduced through increased usage of medicine. We remain neutral on this bill. 

Organizations Supporting

County Judges & Commissioners of Texas
League of Women Voters of Texas
Mental Health America of Texas
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Texas
Texas Association of Counties
Travis County Commissioners Court