H.B. 2859
By: King
Committee Report (Amended)


     The Texas Commission for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired has the
responsibility of developing and implementing programs to advocate
for and educate Texans who have hearing disorders and deafness and
to coordinate services to those persons.  The small agency operates
within a limited budget of slightly more than $2 million per
biennium, primarily through contracting for interpreter services
through local councils.  Nine persons are employed full time by the
agency, and during the 1993 legislative session, many of the
agency's routine administrative duties were assigned to the Texas
Commission for the Blind to perform under contract.

     In 1991, Texas lawmakers expanded the Commission's target
population to include persons who are hard of hearing.  H.B. 2353
by Rep. Jack Vowell and Sen. Chet Brooks changed the name of the
agency from the Texas Commission for the Deaf to become the Texas
Commission for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired.  However, no new
funding was allotted to accomplish this broadened purpose even
though the agency's responsibility increased from serving
approximately 40,000 persons to more than 1.6 million. 


     In order to describe more clearly the population being served,
H.B. 2859 would once again change the name of the Texas Commission
for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired to the Texas Commission for the
Deaf and Hard of Hearing, since "hard of hearing" better reflects
the needs of the service population.  The measure would also
provide technical corrections to the agency's enabling statute,
increase the size of the board of evaluators of interpreters, and
restores to the Commission duties previously delegated to the board
such as deciding where and how often to administer interpreting


It is the opinion of the Committee that H.B. 2859 delegates no
additional rulemaking authority to any state official, agency,
department, or institution.


SECTION 1.  Amends the heading of Chapter 81, Human Resources Code,

SECTION 2.  Amends Section 81.001, H. R. Code, by adding clearer
definitions, including:  (1) "Commission"; (2) "Deaf" meaning a
hearing impairment of such severity that a person must depend on
visual methods to communicate; and (3) "Hard of hearing" meaning an
impairment resulting in a loss of hearing function in which the
person relies on residual hearing and may depend on visual methods.

SECTION 3.  Amends Section 81.002, H. R. Code, by striking "deaf",
"handicap" and "hearing impaired", and inserting "deaf and hard of
hearing" as appropriate.  This change affects the composition of
the governing board such that of the nine members:

     Three must be persons who are deaf or hard of hearing;
     Two must be parents of persons who are deaf or hard of
     Two must be professionals serving persons who are deaf or hard
of hearing; and
     Two must be persons from the general public.

SECTION 4.  Amends Section 81.004, H.R. Code, to reflect agency's
changed name.

SECTION 5.  Amends Sections 81.005(b) and (d), H.R. Code as

(b)  Technical changes for agency's new name.
(d)  Prohibits members of the commission from receiving
compensation, but allows reimbursement for travel expenses,
according to the appropriations act.

SECTION 6.  Amends Sections 81.006(a), (b), and (g), Human
Resources Code, as follows, and including technical changes
throughout to allow for new agency name; 

(a) (2)  Eliminates services now provided by other agencies;
     (4)  Permits agency to maintain a registry of available
     interpreters, to be updated quarterly and available to
     needy Texans at cost; eliminates catalog of resources
     previously available and updated only annually;
     (5)  Permits agency to provide training for interpreters;
     (6)  Continues current agency rulemaking authority to set
     a schedule of interpreter's hourly fees, but changes rate
     from "reasonable" to "maximum allowable";
     (7)  Permits agency to assist institutions of higher
     education in initiating training programs for
     interpreters and develop guidelines to promote uniformity
     in programs;
     (8)  With assistance of Central Education Agency, permits
     agency to develop standards to evaluate of the programs
     in subsection (7).

(b) (1) Permits Commission to have advisory committees, but permits
no reimbursement for their expenses;

     (2)  Permits agency to charge and collect authorized fees as
well as accept donations;
     (5)  Adds new (5) to charge and collect a fee for
     training interpreters in a reasonable amount set by the
     comm'n to defray the cost of training;
(g)        Updating terminology.

SECTION 7.  Amends Sections 81.007(a), (b), (d), (f), and (i),
Human Resources Code as follows:

(a)  Updating terminology.
(b)  Increases size of Board for Evaluation of Interpreters from
five to seven.
(d)  Updating terminology.
(f)  Eliminates need for Board for Evaluation of Interpreters to
make recommendations regarding the waiver of certification
(i)  Restores to the Commission, and eliminates Board for
Evaluation of Interpreters, from deciding how often and where
interpreter examinations are offered.

SECTION 8.  Amends Section 81.0072(a), Human Resources Code, by
requiring the recommendation of the Board for Evaluation of
Interpreters in order for Commission to suspend an interpreter's

SECTION 9.  Amends Section 81.013, Human Resources Code, making
technical terminology changes.

SECTION 10.  Amends Section 81.016(a), Human Resources Code,
updating terminology.
SECTION 11.  Amends Section 81.017(a), Human Resources Code,
updating terminology and changed name of the Dept. of Criminal

SECTION 12.  Amends Sections 81.019(a) and (b),  Human Resources
Code, technical corrections.

SECTION 13.  Amends Section 21.006(a), Civil Practice and Remedies
Code, technical corrections.

SECTION 14.  Amends Article 38.31(f), Code of Criminal Procedure,
technical corrections.
SECTION 15.  Amends Sections 11.03(a) and (l), Education Code,
technical corrections.
SECTION 16.  Amends Sections 54.205(b) and (c), Education Code,
technical corrections.

SECTION 17.  Amends Section 558.003(a), Government Code, making
technical corrections.
SECTION 18. Amends Section 2001.055(a), Government Code, technical
SECTION 19. Amends Section 22.011(a), Human Resources Code, making
technical corrections.

SECTION 20. Amends Section 22.024, Human Resources Code, making
technical corrections. 
SECTION 21. Amends Section 82.001(1), Human Resources Code to make
technical corrections.
SECTION 22. Amends Section 115.002(c), Human Resources Code, making
technical corrections.

SECTION 23. Amends Section 36.015(b), Health and Safety Code,
technical corrections.
SECTION 24. Amends Section 85.017(b), Health and Safety Code,
technical corrections.
SECTION 25. Amends Section 85.113, Health and Safety Code,
technical corrections.

SECTION 26. Amends Section 614.015, Health and Safety Code,
technical corrections. 
SECTION 27. Amends Section 504.017, Labor Code, technical

SECTION 28. Repeals the following provisions in the Human Resources

(1)  Section 81.006(h);
(2)  Section 81.0061;
(3)  Section 81.007(j);
(4)  Section 81.011.

SECTION 29. Changes the name of the commission to the Texas
Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

SECTION 30. (a)  Requires the agency to use all stationery and
other supplies on hand bearing before purchasing new supplies.

(b)  Provides that appropriations made to the agency under the old
name will be available to the commission under its new name.

SECTION 31. Effective date, September 1, 1995.

SECTION 32. Emergency clause.


     The committee added one amendment to accommodate testimony
provided at the public hearing.  Committee Amendment No. 1 would
require that the governor, in making appointments to the
Commission, fill appointments such that a majority of the
commissioners are deaf.


     On April 3, the Human Services Committee convened in a public
hearing and the Chairman laid out H.B. 2859 and asked Rep. King to
explain the bill.  The following witnesses testified for H.B. 2859: 
Michael Fehmer, Austin; Richard Garbacz, representing himself and
Texas Deaf Caucus; Hector Brual, Texas Symposium on Deaf or Hard of
Hearing Texans; Lucille Koehl, Houston; Timothy Rarus, Texas
Symposium on Deaf or Hard of Hearing Texans; and Fran Herrington-Borre, representing herself and Symposium on Deaf & Hard of Hearing
Texans.  The following witnesses testified as neutral on H.B. 2859: 
David Myers, Texas Comm'n for the Deaf & Hearing Impaired; and
Billy Collins, TX Comm'n for the Deaf & Hearing Impaired.  No one
testified against H.B. 2859 and the bill was left pending.

     In a formal meeting on April 12, 1995, the committee took up
H.B. 2859 which had been pending.  Rep. Maxey offered a Committee
Amendment No. 1, clarifying how many members of the governing body
must be deaf and hearing no objection, the amendment was adopted. 
Rep. Maxey moved to pass H.B. 2859 favorably as amended and the
motion prevailed by a record vote of 7 Ayes, 0 Nays, 0 PNV and 2