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Relating to measures to facilitate the delivery of certain mental health services for veterans.
SB 578 would amend the Government Code to require the Texas Veterans Commission to develop a plan to increase access to and availability of professional veteran health services to prevent suicides. The commission would make specific statutory, administrative, and budget-related recommendations regarding the initiatives and reforms necessary to implement the plan developed.
The House committee substitute added a requirement that the board of regents of the University of Texas System would establish the National Center for Warrior Resiliency at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio for research and care for combat-related conditions.
The House committee substitute added the language of HB 2571 to this legislation. We opposed HB 2571 earlier this session.
Ultimately this bill is asking Texas to take care of veteran's health, a noble cause, but the responsibility of the federal government not the state of Texas. The idea that the goals of this bill can be achieved without spending additional state funds raises skepticism given that at least 7.5 new FTE's are required. We owe our veterans a debt of gratitude and their healthcare should be taken care of, however this is a responsibility of the federal government and not the state of Texas. For these reasons we oppose this bill.