Mr. Heckler founded the Solutions Group in 1993 that later became Texas Solutions Group. Mr. Heckler was Chief of Staff and Policy Analyst to Senator Chet Brooks, then Dean of the Texas Senate and Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. He advised, consulted and represented Senator Brooks on the following issue areas: the environment, natural resources, and waste management; energy; health and human services; transportation; finance; agriculture; criminal justice; gaming; and economic development. Mr. Heckler helped develop and negotiate the landmark legislation, the Texas Clean Air Act of 1991 and the Coastal Zone Management and Wetland Protection Act. During his tenure with Senator Brooks, Mr. Heckler was named executive director of the 1990 Joint Task Force on Waste Management.
He began his legislative career in Senator Brooks’ Health and Human Services Committee where he managed the following issue areas: rural health care; indigent health care; health systems and planning; environmental health and safety; migrant health; healthcare provider issues, which included hospital transfer policy, medical and nursing education, not-for-profit hospitals, disproportionate share / Medicaid, Medicaid enhancement, manpower shortages issues, and EMS/trauma care. Mr. Heckler was director to the Special Task Force on Rural Health Care Delivery in Texas, and was the primary researcher, author and editor of the task force report to the Legislature. He also was one of the chief architects of the landmark legislation the Omnibus Health Care Rescue Act of 1989 or House Bill 18. HB 18: created a statewide trauma system; created the Office of Rural Health Initiatives; removed statutory impediments to allow rural health clinics to flourish among other issues.
In the mid-90s, Mr. Heckler directed the National Institute for Healthcare Management (NIHCM) created to conduct preparatory work for the President Bill Clinton’s healthcare reform initiative. The Institute designed and conducted research projects. NIHCM published a healthcare reform newsletter, the Texas Health Care Report and sponsored forums on various pertinent health issues. The Institute operated a technical assistance program for policymakers and the general public.
Jeff serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Association of Business and The Austin Club. Jeff served on the City of Austin’s Solid Waste Advisory Committee.