SB 1293

86(R) - 2019
Senate State Affairs
Senate State Affairs

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Judith Zaffirini

Bill Caption

Relating to the authority of certain courts to employ attorneys as mental health public defenders and to the reimbursement of an attorney who represents an indigent proposed patient in certain mental health proceedings.

Fiscal Notes

No fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

SB 1293 would authorize a court with primary responsibility for mental illness proceedings for that county to employ attorneys as mental health public defenders to provide proposed patients with legal representation. This would apply only to a county with a population of 800,000 or more, and to proceedings under Chapter 574 of the Mental Health Code (Court-Ordered Mental Health Services). This bill would also require the court to appoint an attorney employed as a mental health public defender, a public defender, or a private attorney to represent a proposed patient in any proceeding under Chapter 574. Currently, most counties appoint private attorneys at an hourly rate to represent proposed patients in these cases.

Vote Recommendation Notes

Texas Action remains neutral on SB 1293 because it does not affect our liberty principles. However, this seems like a reasonable change considering that it may lead to cost savings for certain counties and provide more specialized representation for proposed patients.

Organizations Supporting

Coalition of Texans with Disabilities
Texas Conference of Urban Counties