Texas Legislative Bills Taking Effect September 1st

ARI’s Policy and Engagement team have spent the past year focusing on advocating for policy change during Texas’ 88th legislative session. Research Associate for Policy and Community Engagement at TxCOPE, Mina Chitti, gives us a rundown of the House and Senate bills that were passed and are taking effect September 1st. To stay updated on all TxCOPE news, including policy changes – subscribe to the monthly newsletter.

HB 299 (Murr): Relating to the creation of voluntary accreditation for recovery housing; authorizing fees. 

Summary: Creates a voluntary accreditation for recovery housing. Importantly, recovery houses that are not accredited can’t receive state funding. Recovery houses must promote sustained recovery by centering on peer support and being free of alcohol and drug use. Recovery houses also cannot use misleading advertising or accept cash or in kind from persons licensed, certified, or registered by state health care regulatory agencies. Finally, the HHSC must prepare an annual report covering the number of recovery houses and any issues with the accreditation process.  More about the creation of HB 299.

Note: Section 469.009 (Health and Safety Code) of this bill takes effect 9/1/25 

SB 1319 (Huffman): Relating to the reporting of certain overdose information and the mapping of overdoses for public safety purposes. 

Summary: Mandates reports of controlled substance overdoses for public safety purposes. The bill maintains confidentiality and provides protections for people who make reports, while aiming to connect data from healthcare practitioners, local health authorities, and law enforcement agencies to identify patterns and trends in overdoses. 

SB 2173 (Alvarado): Relating to a pilot program for the safe disposal of controlled substance prescription drugs. 

Summary: Allows pharmacies to participate in a drug-safe disposal pilot program. The Texas State Board of Pharmacy must develop and implement the specifics of the program, such as the evaluation and selection criteria. Said board incentivizes pharmacies to participate in the pilot by paying for one collection receptacle, mail-back envelopes, and other operational needs (as determined appropriate) for each pharmacy. Money from the opioid abatement account may be appropriated to the board to fund this pilot program. Chain locations are limited to such financial incentives being applied in a maximum of 15 locations. Pharmacies in rural or underserved areas are given priority. Finally, the board is responsible for conducting educational outreach about safe prescription drug disposal, as well as submitting a biennial report on the pilot program and outreach efforts.  

HB 400 (Klick): Relating to innovation grant programs to support residency training programs in psychiatric specialty fields and recruitment, training, and retention programs in behavioral health fields. 

Summary: Creates a Psychiatric Specialty Innovation Grant Program, which awards payments to medical schools that administer innovative psychiatry residency programs. 60 percent of the grants are designated for pediatric psychiatric care. Also establishes a Behavioral Health Innovation Grant Program, which awards incentive payments to institutions of higher education that administer innovative recruitment, training, and retention programs designed to increase the number of mental health professionals. 

SB 998 (West): Relating to an opioid-related drug overdose training program for certain alcoholic beverage permit holders.  

Summary: Holders of mixed beverage and private club registration permits, as well as each employee of the permit holder, must complete an opioid-related drug overdose training program each year. The training program must include the signs and symptoms of an opioid-related drug overdose and administering opioid antagonists. This does not apply to restaurants.