Senate Finance Committee Public Testimony, Article II HHS PART ONE

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Bill Combest commented on IDD and mental health issues in the jails. Police officers are not trained to address these conditions. The costs for ignoring these problems is very costly. He advocated for increases in pay for SSLC staff. Debra Cates, and Michael Jamison, Denton SSLC resident.  He testified that staff need a pay increase. Ms. Cates testified in support of services at the SSLC and for pay increases for staff at SSLCs and hospitals. She related their personal story. Senator Kolkhorst inquired why it was so difficult to get access to an SSLC.  Ms. Cates stated that they were told by the authority that the facility was not accepting new residents. Brett Cognit, Texas Ambulance Association testified for an increase in Medicaid ambulance services rates. Rates have been cut over the years. They have no choice over who they have to transport.  They requested 35% increase in funding. Aaron Costival (?) Texas Ambulance Association testified in support of increased rate

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