Yesterday, Sen. Chuy Hinojosa D-McAllen, filed SB 602 – a bill aimed at closing the State Supported Living Centers of Texas (SSLCs). Senators Schwertner, Campbell and Birdwell signed on as co-authors.
The SSLCs are residential communities dedicated to Texas’ most vulnerable population – folks with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) or what we used to characterize as mental retardation. SSLC system is an integral component of the continuum of care of residential and community-based services.
This is not Sen. Hinojosa’s first assault on this population and its family members. Last legislative session he filed and promoted SB 204 – a thinly veiled sunset bill that targeted Austin SSLC and set a pathway for closure for the entire system. Then the bill ran into the House of Representatives buzz saw…
That day was unforgettable for all that were there. The Texas House debate on SB 204 began with Rep. Paul Workman’s amendment that saved the Austin SSLC. One by one Democrat and Republican representatives from all over Texas joined him at the front podium in a forceful show of support for the Workman amendment and the 16 pro-SSLC amendments that followed.
Seventeen straight pro-SSLC amendments received well over 100 votes each – impressive feat given that political agreement is difficult to achieve these days on any issue.
You will see our family members wearing a button that reads, “100 + for SSLCS.” We are memorializing that special day on the House floor – 17 straight amendments over 100 votes each — stopping the SSLC closure bill in its tracks.
We believe the IDD population needs access to all options – that includes residential care and community-based care. We have always maintained that we want to be a part of a best practices, continuum of care solution for the IDD population.
We oppose SB 602. We urge you to do the same.
Please donate today (upper righthand corner of this page)! Any donation, no matter how small, will help fight those Texans that can’t fight for themselves.
Please call the following Senate offices and inform them that SB 602 is misguided and does not deserve consideration! Call today.
Sen. Chuy Hinojosa (512) 463-0120
Sen. Brian Birdwell (512) 463-0122
Sen. Charles Schwertner (512) 463-0105
Sen. Donna Campbell (512) 463-0105