Governor Rick Perry has signed legislation improving security and oversight of the state's large institutions for the mentally disabled which have been hit with allegations of widespread abuse and neglect.
Perry, who had declared fixing problems at the state schools a top priority of the legislative session, signed the bill at the Texas Capitol on Thursday.
The law requires the state to install video surveillance in common areas and give new pow ers to the state Office of Inspector General to help local prosecutors pursue cases of abuse, neglect or exploitation.
Staff would be subject to drug tests and criminal background checks. The bill also changes the name of institutions from "state schools" to "state supported living centers."