San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

March 11th, 2009
Rose carries big stick on human services issues

STAFF REPORT

The Texas House’s Human Services committee began its work in earnest on Tuesday with more than six hours of testimony from state agency officials and nonprofit directors. For the second legislative session, State Rep. Patrick M. Rose is at the panel’s helm as it takes a leading role in social issues, including influence over the state Health and Human Services system’s $25 billion annual budget.

By coincidence, or not, the hearing coincided with release of the sensational news that employees of a state-run home in Corpus Christi for the mentally disabled are being investigated for their roles in an alleged “fight club” between the home’s residents, appalling spectacles recorded on cell phone videos. Law enforcement officials say the footage shows nearly a dozen school employees goading male residents of the institution into bloody brawls.

Calling the allegations “disgraceful and unacceptable” in remarks carried by dozens of newspapers across the state, Rose said the allegations underscore the need for legislation he has proposed that would seek to recreate the way Texas deals with the mentally handicapped, including its state school system.

Rose’s House Bill 1317 seeks to address a U.S. Department of Justice report casting doubt on the safety of state schools by requiring annual inspections and instituting standards for investigations of abuse and neglect in the facilities. House Bill 1589 would require the Health and Human Services Commission to create a ten-year strategic plan that would ultimately close some state schools in favor of efforts to integrate the developmentally disabled into their communities. Rose’s committee begins hearings on the bills on Thursday.

“I am committed to working with my House colleagues to pass legislation as quickly as possible that provides meaningful oversight and accountability in state schools and in the community,” the Dripping Springs Democrat said. “We are over-institutionalizing today as thousands of Texans sit on wait-lists for community-based services. Only with the passage of both these bills will we fully address the Department of Justice’s concerns and be in better positions to protect and care for these Texans.”

He continued, “At this moment, we have a moral and constitutional responsibility to protect our most vulnerable citizens. … I am working with my colleagues to get emergency legislation before the full House as quickly as possible.”

— BRAD ROLLINS

CLARIFICATION: The House’s Human Services committee met on March 5 and Feb. 26. Testimony at the March 10 hearing lasted about six hours, not eight, when recesses are accounted for. The committee’s first day of  testimony on proposed legislation, including Rose’s bills, is Thursday, not Wednesday. The story was revised to reflect these adjustments.

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4 thoughts on “Rose carries big stick on human services issues

  1. my brother was in the richmond state school. all sorts of bad stuff goes on in all of these schools. this one in corpus just happened to get caught.all the state schools should be under constant watch by an outside agency.we trust the state to hire caring and compassionate employees. they only care about meeting the quotas for having the right mixture of races employed in each school as required by law. damn there goes the minority issue again. we all should of learned by now,IT DONT WORK.

  2. If these scum are caught, prosecuted and found guilty then the courts MUST give them a “Life” sentence without parole in the toughest of Texan State prison there is and force them to fight for their food and lives daily. And whoever appointed them to their positions of trust must join them also paying compensation of millions to the people who were forced to fight one another. Thank you for taking these people on Patrick!

  3. Its hard to be nice and keep it clean but i will try…

    My brother was placed in this Corpus Christi state school not even 3 weeks ago and has already been pulled out my dear mother because of unexplainable bruising and cuts that the employees claim to know nothing about. These people thought my brother could not talk, just because he hasn’t said a word to them within these 3 weeks he has been in the school, but they have no idea what they have gotten them self into. My brother speaks and speaks clearly but will only speak to warm and friendly people, normally he will wait until he comfortable with you because he has an immediate unexplainable intuition of people, which is a gift god gave him to protect him from bad people. As you have seen on the news and internet, It is all under investigation as we speak and you better believe that these criminals are going to pay!!!!… No matter what it takes or how long it takes!… THEY WILL PAY!!!!!! It would definitely make us feel better if these people are behind bars for the rest of there lives, but even then I wouldn’t be as satisfied as to what god has in store for them on judgment day! Yes, I’m terribly hurt to what has happened to my brother, but god does everything for a reason and maybe my brother was sent there for this particular reason to save all these disabled people who don’t have families that care or even visit them on a daily based to find out what is going on there. My brother will be a part of helping of them because 1. I wouldn’t have ever taken long for my brothers family to find out, because we would be there days checking on him and the staff and 2. Once we found something such as this horrible incident happened, there would be NO GETTING AWAY WITH IT!!! My brother if very fortunate to have a huge loving and caring family that will not only fight for his safety but we will make damn sure that every adult, kid or member in these types of homes will never be hurt again!

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