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Relating to the regulation of child-care facilities and family homes.
Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for SB 225, Committee Report 2nd House, Substituted: a NEGATIVE impact of ($998,561) through the biennium ending August 31, 2023.
The Health and Human Services Commission is required to implement this act only if the legislature appropriates money specifically for that purpose. If the legislature does not appropriate money specifically for that purpose, the office, department, and the commission may, but are not required to, implement the Act using other appropriations available for the purpose.
SB 225 would make numerous changes to the Health and Human Services Commission searchable online database of childcare providers that have previously had a license, registration, or listing involuntarily suspended or revoked. The bill would require the Health and Human Services commission to permanently maintain the searchable online database.
Other provisions of the bill would:
The compliance costs for childcare providers, including at-home childcare providers, is very steep and only continue to grow through added regulation in just about every legislative session. While regulations are intended to protect children, many regulations simply make it more difficult to run an in-home daycare business, thereby increasing the cost of childcare causing further strain on family budgets. We are concerned about the general trajectory of state regulation in this area.
We are also concerned about the prospect of the state maintaining in perpetuity a public database of providers who have had their license, listing, or registration revoked without providing context about the causes for revocation and the remediation steps, if any, that may have been taken to be reinstated. Lists of this nature always lead to negative unintended consequences.
A provider who has experienced revocation for a lesser noncompliance issue should not necessarily be lumped in with providers who have experienced revocation for very serious issues such as injury or death caused by provider negligence. There should also be an opportunity for providers to demonstrate a track record of improvement which after a time allows them to be removed from the public database in the same way the legislature allows for expunction of certain criminal records for qualifying defendants.
With these considerations in mind, we recognize that this bill modifies an existing database and that there is some accountability and transparency benefit to tying incidents to a specific licensee rather than simply the location of the incident in order to prevent bad actors from starting over with a clean slate at a new location. For these reasons, Texas Action remains cautiously neutral on SB 225.