RECAP: County Affairs Hearing / Thank you for supporting the Flood Bond / Texas Association of Counties Conference

RECAP:
COUNTY AFFAIRS HEARING

The County Affairs Committee that I chair held a hearing in Dallas on Thursday, August 23rd, at the Dallas County Administration Building in the Allen Clemson Courtroom. This is where the Dallas County Commissioners Court meets. This historic building is where Lee Harvey Oswald shot President John F. Kennedy Jr. out of the 6th floor window in 1963. There is a museum on the sixth floor of the building examining the life, death, and legacy of President JFK.The Committee heard from invited and public testimony regarding four interim charges (see below for details). If you couldn’t make it, you can click here watch the whole hearing.

I would like to thank Representative Victoria Neave (D-Dallas) for helping in organizing and coordinating the hearing. I would also like to thank Representative Matt Shaheen (R-Plano) for attending. Lastly, I would like to extend a very special thank you to Rep. Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas) for welcoming us into his district to hold the hearing and for attending. Thank you to all members in attendance. 

If you couldn’t make it, you can click here watch the whole hearing. Below you can view the list of speakers with time stamps.We held the hearing to discuss the following interim charges:

Interim Charge #1: Examine how emergency response activities are organized, funded, and coordinated. Review the impact of natural disasters on county finances. Identify any deficiencies in authority for the most populous counties related to infrastructure planning, emergency response, and recovery. Explore ways to improve efficiencies and manage costs while protecting public safety. Additionally, study the relationship between the state, counties, non-governmental organizations, and churches in preparing for and responding to Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath, and determine if preparedness plans are adequate.

Interim Charge #2: Evaluate whether counties have the necessary ordinance-making and enforcement authority to deal with flood risk in unincorporated rural and suburban areas of Texas. Additionally, examine whether counties have adequate resources and authority to ensure that new development in unincorporated areas is not susceptible to flooding.

Interim Charge #3: Study how counties identify defendants’ and inmates’ behavioral health needs and deferral opportunities to appropriate rehabilitative and transition services. Consider models for ensuring defendants and inmates with mental illness receive appropriate services upon release from the criminal justice system.

Interim Charge #5: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 85th Legislature. Under this interim charge, the Committee will be discussing topics relating to Mental Health Intervention in School Settings, Indigent Defense, and Specialty Drug Courts.


LIST OF SPEAKERS

County Judges- Natural Disaster Authority and Impact  (00:22)

  • Honorable Clay Jenkins, County Judge, Dallas County
  • Honorable Bruce Wood, County Judge, Kaufman County

County Judges- Indigent Defense Oversight (01:07)

  • Honorable Woody Gossom, County Judge, Wichita County
  • Honorable Jason Brinkley, County Judge, Cooke County

County Officials- Behavioral Health and Services in the Criminal Justice System (01:48)

  • Dr. Theresa Daniel, County Commissioner, Dallas County
  • Honorable Dominique Collins, District Court Judge, Criminal District Court No. 4, Dallas County

Oversight: County Officials- CPS and Specialty Courts (02:30)

  • Honorable Tena Callahan, 302nd District Court and Legacy Family Court, Dallas County

Emergency Services- Management, Authority, and Impact (03:13)

  • Doug Bass, Department Manager/Chief of Emergency Services, Dallas County
  • David McCurdy, Emergency Management Coordinator, Tarrant County
  • Steve Howie, Emergency Management Coordinator, Kaufman County
  • Edith Marvin, P.E., Director of Environment and Development, North Central Texas Council of Governments

Disaster Related Appraisals (04:10)

  • Brent South, Chair of Legislative Committee, Texas Association of Appraisal Districts
  • Gary Earnest, Chief Executive Officer, Taylor County Central Appraisal District

Health and Human Services Commission- Disaster Preparedness and Behavioral Health(04:47)

  • Sonja Gaines, Associate Commissioner, Behavioral Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disability Services, Health and Human Services Commission

County Perspective- Behavioral Health and Services in the Criminal Justice System (05:38)

  • Alyse Ferguson, Chief Attorney, Mental Health Managed Counsel Collin County
  • Charlene Randolph, Director of Criminal Justice Department, Dallas County
  • Ramey Heddins, Chief of Behavioral Health Services, My Health My Resources of Tarrant County
  • Jessica Martinez, Chief Clinical Office, North Texas Behavioral Health Authority

Local Entity Perspective- Behavioral Health and Services in the Criminal Justice System (06:57)

  • Chad Houser, Founder, CEO, and Executive Chef, Café Momentum
  • B.J. Wagner, MS, Senior Director of Smart Justice, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute

Oversight: Behavioral Health Intervention in School Settings (07:42)

  • Jaime Sandoval, Executive Director of Student Advocacy and Youth Outreach, Dallas Independent School District
  • Betsy Blanks, Assistant Director, Center for School Behavioral Health, Mental Health America Greater Houston

Oversight: Behavioral Health Intervention in School Settings (08:36)

  • Jaime Sandoval, Executive Director of Student Advocacy and Youth Outreach, Dallas Independent School District
  • Betsy Blanks, Assistant Director, Center for School Behavioral Health, Mental Health America Greater Houston

PHOTO GALLERY

     

From left to right: Rep. Matt Shaheen (R- Plano), Rep. Kyle Biederman (R-Fredericksburg), Vice-Chair Drew Springer (R-Muenster), Committee Director Kelsey Bernstein, Chair Garnet Coleman, Chair of Calendars Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi), Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford), Rep. Tomas Uresti (D-San Antonio), and (R-Rep. Victoria Neave (D-Dallas). Wichita County Judge Woody Gossum and Cooke County Judge Jason Brinkley addressing county issues regarding indigent defense expenses at the County Affairs Committee hearing in Dallas.

       
Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom & Cooke County Judge Jason Brinkley address county issues regarding indigent defense expenses in front of the Committee.


THANK YOU FOR VOTING FOR SUPPORT THE FLOOD BOND

Thank you to everyone who voted for the flood bond. Thanks to your support Harris County, Houston, and District 147 will be better equipped to handle the next flooding disaster. 

2018 TAC CONFERENCE

Last Thursday, I spoke on a panel about “Assessing Mental Health in Texas” alongside  Honorable Roxanne Nelson and Lieutenant Tommy Shelton of the Mental Health & Jail Diversion Bureau at the Texas Association of Counties annual conference. Thank you to all in attendance.


From left to right: Lt. Tommy Shelton of the Mental Health & Jail Diversion Bureau, Hon. Roxanne Nelson, and Chair of the County Affairs Committee Garnet Coleman at the 2018 Texas Association of Counties conference.


Cartoon of the Week


Source: Steve Breen of the San Diego Union-Tribune


What To Watch

Our “What to Watch” of the week is a video Representative Coleman made supporting Houston Independent School District. Rep. Coleman is a proud graduate of Bellaire High School in Houston and believes education truly is the great equalizer.
Click below to watch:

 


Song of the Week

Our song of the week is “Think” by Aretha Franklin.

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