Action Alert: DSHS Legislative Appropriations Request

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Action Alert

DSHS Public Stakeholder Meeting 2016/2017 Legislative Appropriations Request to be held next week

Action: Submit oral or written comments recommending that the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) have a separate funding stream designated exclusively for the prevention of underage drinking.

Background: As part of the State of Texas budget process, the Legislative Appropriations Request (LAR) is the formal request for funding made by DSHS. The LAR includes quantitative information such as projected performance, projected cost, and methods of financing proposed for state services.

Your oral and written comments help DSHS determine community needs and priorities, and direct funding to the health issues that most impact our communities. Talking points are provided below.

Oral Comments: Monday, June 2, 2014, 2:00pm at various video conference locations across the state:

  • Arlington: 1301 South Bowen Road, Room 2210
  • Austin: 1100 West 49th Street, K100
  • Corpus Christi: 1233 Agnes Street, Conference Room
  • El Paso: 401 East Franklin, Room 250
  • Harlingen: 601 West Sesame Drive, Rockport Room
  • Houston: 5425 Polk Street, Room 4B-E
  • Lubbock: 6302 Lola Avenue, Room 201
  • Midland: 2301 North Big Spring Street, DSHS HSR9 Conference Room
  • San Antonio: 2303 SE Military Drive, Texas Center for Infectious Disease, Videoconference Room
  • Temple: 2408 South 37th Street, Large Conference Room
  • Tyler: 1517 West Front Street, Room 315
  • Wichita Falls: 6515 Kemp Boulevard, Building 539, TAC Conference Room

Written Comments: Due Friday, June 6, 2014, by 5:00pm. Written comments regarding the 2016-2017 Legislative Appropriations Request may be submitted in lieu of, or in addition to, oral testimony until 5:00pm on Friday, June 6, 2014. Written comments may be sent by U.S. mail, overnight mail, special delivery mail, hand delivery, fax, or e-mail. The addresses are provided as follows:

  • U.S. Mail: DSHS, Attention: Carolyn Bivens, Mail Code 1911, P.O. Box 149347, Austin, TX 78714-9347
  • Overnight mail, special delivery mail, or hand delivery: DSHS, Attention: Carolyn Bivens, Mail Code 1911, 1100 W. 49th St., Austin, TX 78756
  • Phone number for package delivery: 512-776-2370
  • Fax: Attention: Carolyn Bivens at 512-776-7477
  • E-mail:  carolyn.bivens@dshs.state.tx.us

Talking Points

  • Alcohol is the most widely used substance by youth, and underage drinking costs the state $1.8 billion annually, primarily due to health care costs, lost productivity, motor vehicle crashes, fire response, and the criminal justice system.
  • By raising alcohol excise taxes by just a dime a drink, Texas stands to increase revenue by $711 million annually, a percentage of which could be designated for underage drinking prevention.
  • Raising alcohol excise taxes is a recognized way to reduce underage alcohol consumption by the Surgeon General, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention among others.
  • With increased and designated funding for underage drinking, DSHS could develop targeted media materials for youth that are guided by the research and focus group tested.
  • Increased revenue and funding to DSHS could also assist with the expansion of the Texas School Survey of Substance Abuse Among Students and the Texas School Survey of Substance Use Among College Students. This research is the only statewide data for coalitions to use to guide, tailor, and evaluate prevention strategies for alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and prescription drugs. Currently data is only collected in a fraction of schools across the state.

Texans Standing Tall
2211 South IH-35, Suite 201
Austin, Texas 78741
(512) 442-7501

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