C.S.H.B. 2468
By: Coleman
Committee Report (Substituted)


     Many African-American children face severe crises on multiple
fronts:  they are disproportionately undereducated, malnourished,
and poor.  The alarming rate at which African-American children
find themselves involved in the child welfare system is virtually
astounding and the lack of adoption is a serious problem facing
large numbers of these children.  As a result, such children end up
in foster care and remain there for longer periods of time making
it harder ultimately for them to be placed with adoptive parents.


     H.B. 2468, as substituted, would help address the lack of
adoptive placements for African-American children by creating an
advisory committee at the Department of Protective and Regulatory
Services (DPRS) to promote the adoption of and provision of
services to adoptable African-American children.


     H.B. 2468 grants the Department of Protective and Regulatory
Services the authority to adopt rules under Sec. 47.006(i) to
implement a program or project recommended under this section.


Section 1.  Amends Subchapter A, Chapter 47, Human Resources Code,
by adding new Section 47.006 as follows:

AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHILDREN.  (a)  Creates an advisory committee
within the Dept. of Protective and Regulatory Services (DPRS), to
promote the adoption of adoptable African American children.

(b)  Requires the board of Protective & Regulatory Services to
appoint the 12 members of the advisory committee, at least six of
whom must be ordained members of the clergy.  Appointees must have
knowledge and experience in the issue.

(c)  Establishes two-year terms for committee appointments and
allows for reappointment.

(d)  Prohibits compensation of committee members, but allows
reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses.

(e)  Allows the committee to elect its presiding officer and
permits him or her to serve a two-year term and be re-elected.

(f)  Requires DPRS to set the time & place of first meeting;
requires at least quarterly meetings.

(g)  Requires DPRS to pay the expenses of the committee and provide
necessary personnel and supplies.

(h)  Requires committee to study, develop and evaluate programs and
issues relating to the promotion of adoption of adoptable African-American children; requires committee to consult with African-American churches and other cultural and civic organizations; and
requires committee to report to DPRS annually its recommendations
for programs and projects that will promote the adoption of and
provision of services to adoptable African-American children.

(i)  Allows DPRS to adopt rules to implement a program or project
recommended by the committee.  Further, allows DPRS to solicit,
accept and use gifts and donations to implement programs
recommended by the committee.

(j)  Requires DPRS to report to the Legislature not later than
November 1 of each even-numbered year following the first year in
which it receives recommendations.

Section 2.  Requires DPRS to appoint members to the advisory
committee not later than January 1, 1996.

Section 3.  Effective date, September 1, 1995.

Section 4. Emergency clause.


     The committee substitute made the following changes to the
original bill:  requiring the Board of Protective & Regulatory
Services make appointments to the advisory body created by H.B.
2468; and requiring that at least six members of the advisory body
be ordained members of the clergy.  The measure also allows the
committee's presiding officer to serve two year terms.  Reporting
date was moved up by one month.


     In a public hearing on April 3, 1995, the Human Services
Committee considered H.B. 2468.  Rep. Park offered a committee
substitute.  The following witnesses testified for H.B. 2468: 
Trudy Lawton, Metropolitan One Church, One Child and Board of
Directors of One Church, One Child, Inc. Houston; Rev. Billy Ray
Murray, Sr., Board of Directors, One Church, One Child; Rev.
William A. Purnell, Jr., Board of Directors, One Church, One Child;
Pastor James R. Whorton, Second Baptist Church, Metropolitan One
Church, One Child Board of Directors.  The following witness
testified as neutral on H.B. 2468:  Pat Devin, Dept. of Protective
& Regulatory Services.  No one testified against H.B. 2468.  Rep.
Coleman closed on the bill, the committee substitute withdrawn and
H.B. 2468 was left pending.

     On April 12, the committee convened in a formal meeting and
the Chairman laid out H.B. 2468 by Coleman which had been pending. 
Rep. Maxey offered a committee substitute and moved adoption. 
Hearing no objection, the committee substitute for H.B. 2468 was
adopted.  Rep. Jones moved that the committee pass H.B. 2468
favorably as substituted and the motion prevailed by a record vote
of 7 Ayes, 0 Nays, 0 PNV, and 2 Absent.