Senate passes state schools reform bill - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/9/09

Senate passes state schools reform bill

LUBBOCK (AP) - The Texas Senate has approved new safeguards to prevent abuse and neglect of residents living in the state's large homes for the mentally disabled.

Texas houses nearly 5,000 mentally disabled residents in 13 facilities known as state schools. A 2008 federal report cited 53 deaths linked to lapses in care. The Senate bill creates greater oversight and investigations and requires better training and background checks of staff. The bill passed 30-0 Monday and now goes to the House.

Governor Rick Perry set the issue as a legislative emergency. It is the first major bill up for a vote in either chamber.

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