House committee approves state school bill

AUSTIN, TX (AP) - A House committee today unanimously approved a proposal to protect residents of Texas' state schools for the disabled from abuse.

The Dallas Morning News reports Rep. Patrick Rose's bill will establish a state school ombudsman, a toll-free abuse hotline and set up video surveillance cameras at Texas' 13 institutions for people with disabilities.

It would also require all criminal abuse allegations to be handled by an Office of the Inspector General.

The bill was voted out of the House Human Services Committee and will next head to the full House.

A similar state school safety bill, earmarked by Gov. Rick Perry as priority legislation, passed the Senate last month.

That action followed a broad federal investigation into abuse, neglect and conditions at the facilities.