Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 1386
By: Armbrister
Public Health


The Texas Mental Health Code consists of definitions and concepts that no
longer meet the needs of mental health care providers and their patients.
Past legislatures granted  the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental
Retardation the authority, with the approval of local courts, to designate
community centers as single portal authorities responsible for determining
the best placement for mentally ill and mentally retarded patients.  Today,
however, every local mental health authority is designated as a single
portal authority thereby creating confusion related to the powers and
duties of a single portal authority.  Senate Bill 1386 removes the term
"single portal authority" and clarifies the authority of state and local
mental health authorities. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to the Texas Board of Mental Health and
Mental Retardation in SECTION 2 (Section 533.014, Health and Safety Code)
of this bill. 


Senate Bill 1386 amends the Health and Safety Code to replace references to
a "single portal authority" and "county health authority" with a "local
mental health authority" and replaces references to "state mental hospital"
with "inpatient facility operated by the Texas Department of Mental Health
and Mental Retardation (MHMR)." 

S.B. 1386 requires the Texas Board of Mental Health and Mental Retardation
(board) to adopt rules relating to the responsibility of local mental
health authorities to make recommendations relating to the most appropriate
and available treatment alternatives for individuals in need of mental
health services (Secs. 533.014, 533.035, and 574.012).  The bill requires
local mental health authorities and local mental retardation authorities to
consider public input, ultimate cost benefit, and client care issues to
ensure consumer choice and the best use of money in making such
recommendations.  The bill authorizes the board to delegate local mental
health authorities the authority and responsibility to coordinate with
criminal justice entities (Sec. 533.035).  On the request of the local
mental health authority, the judge may order that a person admitted for
emergency detention be detained in an inpatient mental health facility
operated by MHMR (Secs. 573.022, 574.023, 574.027, and 574.041). 


September 1, 2001.