Summary of Mental Health and Substance Use-Related Legislation

88th Legislative Summary Cover

The 88th Legislative Session was a whirlwind of activity with many mental health and substance use issues rising to the forefront. The Uvalde tragedy, youth mental health, workforce challenges, and high substance use overdose deaths were top of mind for many lawmakers. Ultimately after 140 days of negotiations and compromises, legislators landed on both some sizable wins and opportunities for improvement on policy issues that would impact Texans. Notably, the Texas budget included the largest amount ever dedicated to mental health, including creating a new grant program for children and youth, increased funding to multiple existing community-based grant programs, and $2.3 billion for state hospital infrastructure. Substance use funding remained consistent with previous sessions.

On the other hand, many positive policy solutions agreed upon by mental health and substance use stakeholders were left without final passage, including school mental health efforts, and policies to support both suicide prevention and substance use issues in Texas communities.

The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health Policy Team provided education, technical assistance, and policy analysis to legislative offices, as well as tracked hundreds of related bills. The Legislative Session Summary is not meant to provide an exhaustive review of every mental health or substance use bill filed. Instead, the focus is on the highlights of the state budget, successful bills that will become law, and key missed opportunities. We hope this document can help stakeholders understand the legislative session’s impact on community and individual mental health and well-being across the state.

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Posted on

July 10, 2023