AUSTIN, TX - The Texas House of Representatives passed House Bill 161, joint authored by State Representative Toni Rose (110), clearing the first major hurdle in securing a $237.8 million appropriation to the Health and Human Services Commission for the construction of a new state psychiatric hospital serving the Dallas-Fort Worth region.

The bill must be passed by the Texas Senate and signed by the Governor to take effect.

"I thank Representative Toni Rose for her tireless work in securing funding for construction of the state's new psychiatric hospital serving the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The House version of Senate Bill 8 appropriates nearly $238 million of Texas's federal relief funds for a state-supported hospital, which will provide crucial mental health services for those in North Texas," said House Speaker Dade Phelan. "The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center's new state hospital will fill the need for comprehensive psychiatric care in the region and allow vulnerable Texans to get the vital services they need for years to come," Speaker Phelan said.rep

The appropriation stems from the $16.3 billion in federal funds allotted to Texas in the American Rescue Plan Act and is in addition to the $44.75 million in state funding secured during the 87th Legislative Session for the costs of planning and land acquisition of the hospital. The new mental health facility will be managed in partnership with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and is expected to undergo two and a half years of construction before becoming available to the public for use.

"The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center has a reputation for excellence and innovation in medical care and research, and is proud to further extend its service to the North Texas community through this partnership at the new state mental health hospital. Representative Rose has been a steadfast advocate for state investment in this facility, and the legacy of her commitment to this purpose will positively impact individuals, families and this state for decades to come," stated Dr. John Zerwas, Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at the University of Texas System and former Texas State Representative.

"A new state hospital will alleviate the burdens experienced by emergency departments that are not equipped to provide specialized treatment. I’m grateful for the support of my colleagues as we continue working together to meet the mental health needs of all Texans," Representative Rose said.

Elected in 2012, Representative Toni Rose represents District 110, which includes Oak Cliff, Pleasant Grove, Balch Springs, and Mesquite. Representative Rose serves as Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Article II, Vice Chair of the House Committee on Redistricting, and serves a member of the House Committees on Calendars, Human Services, and Youth Health and Safety.

Source: Einnews