In Texas, a regular legislative session is 140 days long and every other year. But even when the legislature is not in session, policymaking continues in the interim, or the time between regular legislative sessions. One example of work during the interim is an interim charge, which is an assignment to study a certain issue. Interim charges are issued by the lieutenant governor to a senate committee or by the speaker of the house to a house committee. Committees then research the interim charges they are assigned, which may involve public or invited testimony, including in-person or written testimony. Once a committee finishes its interim charge research, it issues a report of its findings and recommendations, which may result in future bills being filed during a regular legislative session.
The Arc of Texas interim charge recommendation requests cover a variety of issues that affect Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, including:
- • Study new and sustainable funding mechanisms for Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) waiver programs
- • Study the impact of the base wage for community attendant services in Texas Medicaid
- • Examine whether current laws effectively protect students with disabilities from assault, maltreatment, and excessive use of force
- • Study best practices for supporting individuals with IDD experiencing mental illness
- • Review progress toward the goals of the 60X30TX plan, including availability, access, and outcomes for students with disabilities
- • Review access to and comprehension of employment information for working-age individuals with disabilities
- • Evaluate ongoing strategies to continuously improve special education services for students in public schools
- • Assess the enrollment of students with individualized education programs (IEPs) in remote learning programs offered by local education agencies (LEAs) and the accessibility of such programs
- • Study access to childcare in Texas for children with disabilities and developmental delays
Download a PDF of the letter and the full list of recommendations.