2023 Legislation: Post-Release Supports

HB 299 (Authors: Murr; Wilson | Sponsor: Johnson), Relating to the creation of a voluntary accreditation for recovery housing; authorizing fees. HB 299 establishes provisions related to recovery houses, which are shared living environments that: promote sustained recovery from substance use disorders by integrating residents into the surrounding community and providing a setting that connects residents to supports and services promoting sustained recovery from substance use disorders; are centered on peer support; and are free from alcohol and drug use.  

Per this bill, the Health and Human Service Commission (HHSC) must adopt minimum standards for accreditation as a recovery house that are consistent with the quality standards established by the National Alliance for Recovery Residences and the Oxford House Incorporated. The standards must prohibit an accredited recovery house from providing personal care services, including: assistance with feeding, dressing, moving, bathing, or other personal needs or maintenance; or general supervision or oversight of the physical and mental well-being of a person who needs assistance to maintain a private and independent residence in an assisted living facility or who needs assistance to manage their personal life, regardless of whether a guardian has been appointed for the person. 

Certain entities are ineligible for accreditation as a recovery house – including chemical dependency treatment facilities, family violence shelter centers, child care facilities, intermediate care facilities for individuals with an intellectual disability, home and community support services agencies, nursing facilities, continuing care facilities, assisted living facilities, boarding homes, community homes, and hotels.  

Except in regard to recovery houses accredited by Oxford House Incorporated, HHSC’s minimum standards must require at least one individual to be designated as the responsible party of an accredited recovery house. That person must satisfactorily complete training concerning accreditation standards and requirements and is responsible for administering the recovery house in accordance with those standards and requirements.  

HHSC must prepare an annual report that includes information on: the total number of accredited recovery houses; the number accredited during the preceding year; any issues concerning the accreditation or reaccreditation process; the number of accredited recovery houses that had an accreditation revoked during the preceding year; and the reasons for the revocation. 

If an accredited recovery house violates any provisions of this bill, its accrediting organization may suspend the accreditation for up to six months while the accrediting organization conducts an audit of the recovery house. After the audit is complete, the accrediting organization can implement a corrective action plan or revoke the accreditation. A recovery house that is not accredited by an accrediting organization is ineligible for and may not receive state money. Effective on 9/1/23, though the final provision relating to state funding [specified in Health and Safety Code Section 469.009] takes effect 9/1/25. 

HB 1743 (Authors: Leach; Noble; Venton Jones; Collier; Senfronia Thompson | Sponsor: West), Relating to a memorandum of understanding between the Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to assess the eligibility of certain inmates for supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits on discharge or release from confinement. HB 1745 requires the Texas Health and Human Service Commission (HHSC) and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) to enter a memorandum of understanding to ensure that incarcerated people are assessed for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits before they are set to be discharged or released on parole, mandatory supervision, or conditional pardon.  

The memorandum of understanding must establish a procedure through which HHSC must accept and process SNAP applications from incarcerated people, and define the roles and responsibilities of HHSC and TDCJ. The memorandum must be tailored to achieve the goal of ensuring that an incarcerated individual eligible for SNAP benefits may begin receiving services under that program at the time of their discharge or release. Effective on 6/12/23

During the 2023 session of the Texas Legislature, the Texas Center for Justice and Equity tracked around 40 youth and adult justice bills that made it to the Governor's desk. You can find links to all of our analyses in our 2023 Bill Analysis Guide.