By Harris S.B. No. 793
Substitute the following for S.B. No. 793:
By Van de Putte C.S.S.B. No. 793
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
1-1 AN ACT
1-2 relating to the enforcement of certain child support and medical
1-3 support obligations.
1-4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
1-5 ARTICLE 1. POWERS AND DUTIES OF ATTORNEY GENERAL
1-6 SECTION 1.01. Chapter 231, Family Code, is amended by adding
1-7 Section 231.0011 to read as follows:
1-8 Sec. 231.0011. DEVELOPMENT OF STATEWIDE INTEGRATED SYSTEM
1-9 FOR CHILD SUPPORT AND MEDICAL SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT. (a) The
1-10 attorney general, as the Title IV-D agency for the state of Texas
1-11 shall have final approval authority on any contract or proposal for
1-12 delivery of IV-D services under this section, and in coordination
1-13 with the Texas Judicial Council, the Office of Court
1-14 Administration, the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement,
1-15 state, county and local officials, shall develop and implement a
1-16 statewide system for child support and medical support enforcement,
1-17 employing federal, state, local and private resources to:
1-18 (1) unify child support registry functions;
1-19 (2) record and track all child support orders entered
1-20 in the state;
1-21 (3) establish an automated enforcement process which
1-22 will use delinquency monitoring, billing and other enforcement
1-23 techniques to ensure the payment of current support;
1-24 (4) incorporate existing enforcement resources into
2-1 the system to obtain maximum benefit from state and federal
2-2 funding; and
2-3 (5) ensure accountability for all participants in the
2-4 process, including state, county and local officials, private
2-5 contractors, and the judiciary.
2-6 (b) The attorney general shall convene a workgroup to
2-7 determine a process and develop a time-table for implementation of
2-8 a unified registry system, and to identify any barriers to
2-9 completion of the project. The workgroup shall include
2-10 representatives of the judiciary, district clerks and domestic
2-11 relations Offices, as well as other interested agencies,
2-12 organizations and individuals. The workgroup shall report the
2-13 results of its deliberations to the governor, lieutenant governor,
2-14 speaker of the house of representatives and the attorney general on
2-15 or before January 15, 1996.
2-16 (c) The attorney general shall, in cooperation with the
2-17 workgroup established by this section, develop technical standards
2-18 for participation in the unified child support system, including
2-19 standard required data elements for effective monitoring of child
2-20 support and medical support orders, and for the imposition of
2-21 interest on delinquent child support.
2-22 (d) Counties and other providers of child support services
2-23 shall be required, as a condition of participation in the unified
2-24 system, to enter into a contract with the attorney general and
2-25 comply with all federal requirements for the Title IV-D program,
2-26 and to maintain at least the current level of funding for
2-27 activities which are proposed to be included in the integrated
3-1 child support system.
3-2 (e) The attorney general shall identify federal
3-3 requirements, apply for necessary federal waivers, and provide
3-4 technical system requirements and other information concerning
3-5 participation in the system to counties and other providers of
3-6 child support services, not later than January 15, 1996. Counties
3-7 shall notify the attorney general of existing resources and options
3-8 for participation not later than May 1, 1996.
3-9 (f) Not later than June 1, 1996, the attorney general shall
3-10 produce a procurement and implementation plan for hardware and
3-11 software necessary to implement in phases a unified statewide
3-12 registry and enforcement system.
3-13 (g) Effective January 15, 1996, the attorney general may
3-14 contract with any county meeting technical system requirements
3-15 necessary to comply with federal law for provision of Title IV-D
3-16 services in that county. All new cases in which support orders are
3-17 entered in such county after the effective date of a monitoring
3-18 contract shall be Title IV-D cases. Any other case in the county,
3-19 subject to federal requirements and the agreement of the county and
3-20 the attorney general, may be included as a Title IV-D case. Any
3-21 obligee under a support order may refuse Title IV-D enforcement
3-22 services unless required to accept such services pursuant to other
3-24 (h) Counties participating in the unified enforcement system
3-25 shall monitor all child support registry cases and upon delinquency
3-26 may, subject to the approval of the Title IV-D agency, provide
3-27 enforcement services through:
4-1 (1) direct provision of services by county personnel;
4-2 (2) subcontracting all or portions of the services to
4-3 private entities or attorneys; or
4-4 (3) such other methods as may be approved by the Title
4-5 IV-D agency.
4-6 (i) The attorney general shall undertake a least-cost review
4-7 of its child support operations and shall use the information
4-8 developed in such review to determine what, if any, contribution of
4-9 program funds generated through other Title IV-D activities should
4-10 be made to the participating counties. The attorney general, in
4-11 cooperation with the counties and the federal Office of Child
4-12 Support Enforcement shall develop a cost allocation methodology to
4-13 assist the counties in identifying county contributions which may
4-14 qualify for federal financial participation.
4-15 (j) The attorney general may phase in the integrated child
4-16 support registry and enforcement system, and the requirement to
4-17 implement the system shall be contingent upon the receipt of
4-18 locally generated funds and federal reimbursement; "locally
4-19 generated funds" include, but are not limited to, funds contributed
4-20 by counties and cities.
4-21 (k) The attorney general shall adopt rules to implement this
4-23 SECTION 1.02. Sections 231.109(b) and (d), Family Code, are
4-24 amended to read as follows:
4-25 (b) The Title IV-D agency may contract with private
4-26 attorneys, other private entities, or political subdivisions of the
4-27 state to provide services in Title IV-D cases <
represent this state
5-1 or another state in an action brought under the authority of
5-2 federal law and this chapter>.
5-3 (d) An attorney employed to provide Title IV-D services < by
5-4 the Title IV-D agency or as otherwise provided by this chapter>
5-5 represents the interest of the state and not the interest of any
5-6 other party. The provision of services by an attorney under this
5-7 chapter does not create an attorney-client relationship between the
5-8 attorney and any other party. The agency shall, at the time an
5-9 application for child support services is made, inform the
5-10 applicant that neither the Title IV-D agency nor any attorney who
5-11 provides services under this chapter is the applicant's attorney
5-12 and that the attorney providing services under this chapter does
5-13 not provide legal representation to the applicant.
5-14 SECTION 1.03. Chapter 231, Family Code, is amended by adding
5-15 Section 231.113 to read as follows:
5-16 Sec. 231.113. ENFORCEMENT OF SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS IN PUBLIC
5-17 ASSISTANCE CASES. To the extent possible, the Title IV-D agency
5-18 shall enforce a child support obligation in a case involving a
5-19 child who receives financial assistance under Chapter 31, Human
5-20 Resources Code, not later than the first anniversary of the date
5-21 the agency receives from the Texas Department of Human Services the
5-22 information the department is required to provide to assist in the
5-23 enforcement of that obligation.
5-24 SECTION 1.04. Section 231.202, Family Code, is amended to
5-25 read as follows:
5-26 Sec. 231.202. AUTHORIZED COSTS AND FEES IN TITLE IV-D CASES.
5-27 In a Title IV-D case filed under this title, the Title IV-D agency
6-1 shall pay:
6-2 (1) filing fees and fees for issuance and service of
6-3 process as provided by Chapter 110 of this code and by Sections
6-4 51.317, 51.318(b)(2), and 51.319(4), Government Code;
6-5 (2) fees for transfer as provided by Chapter 110;
6-6 (3) fees for the issuance and delivery of orders and
6-7 writs of income withholding in the amounts provided by Chapter 110;
6-9 (4) a fee of $45 for each item of process to each
6-10 individual on whom service is required, including service by
6-11 certified or registered mail, to be paid to a sheriff, constable,
6-12 or clerk whenever service of process is required< ; and>
6-13 < (5) mileage costs incurred by a sheriff or constable
6-14 when traveling out of the county to execute an outstanding warrant
6-15 or capias, to be reimbursed at a rate not to exceed the rate
6-16 provided for mileage incurred by state employees in the General
6-17 Appropriations Act>.
6-18 SECTION 1.05. Section 231.209, Family Code, is amended to
6-19 read as follows:
6-20 Sec. 231.209. PAYMENT FOR SERVICES NOT AFFECTED BY THIS
6-21 SUBCHAPTER. Without regard to this subchapter and specifically
6-22 Section 231.205, the Title IV-D agency may pay the costs for:
6-23 (1) the services of an official court reporter for the
6-24 preparation of statements of facts; < and>
6-25 (2) the costs for the publication of citation served
6-26 by publication; and
6-27 (3) mileage or other reasonable travel costs incurred
7-1 by a sheriff or constable when traveling out of the county to
7-2 execute an outstanding warrant or capias, to be reimbursed at a
7-3 rate not to exceed the rate provided for mileage or other costs
7-4 incurred by state employees in the General Appropriations Act.
7-5 SECTION 1.06. Section 231.304, Family Code, is amended by
7-6 amending Subsections (b) and (h), and adding Subsections (j), (k),
7-7 (l), and (m) to read as follows:
7-8 (b) The Title IV-D agency, the Department of Human Services,
7-9 the Workers' Compensation Commission and the Texas Employment
7-10 Commission shall create and develop a voluntary ENHR program to
7-11 provide a means for employers to assist in the state's efforts to
7-12 prevent fraud in the welfare, workers' compensation and
7-13 unemployment insurance programs, locate absent parents who owe
7-14 child support and collect support from those parents, by reporting
7-15 information concerning newly hired and rehired employees directly
7-16 to a centralized state database < the child support enforcement
7-17 program>. In order to encourage use of the ENHR program, employer
7-18 reporting requirements shall be simplified and standardized.
7-19 (h) Subject to approval of the agencies involved and any
7-20 requirements of federal law, the centralized database shall make
7-21 the information on < For> each employee reported under the ENHR
7-22 program available for:
7-23 (1) purposes directly connected with the
7-24 administration of a plan or program for unemployment benefits,
7-25 workers' compensation benefits, child support, or public
7-27 (2) an investigation or a civil or criminal
8-1 prosecution relating to the administration of such plan or program;
8-3 (3) the administration of any other Federal or
8-4 Federally assisted program which provides assistance, in cash or in
8-5 kind, or services, directly to individuals on the basis of need
8-6 < the Title IV-D agency shall retain the information only if the
8-7 agency is responsible for establishing, enforcing, or collecting a
8-8 support obligation or debt of the employee or reporting to a court,
8-9 domestic relations office, or a friend of the court the location of
8-10 a parent who is denying possession of or access to a person with a
8-11 valid possession order. If the agency does not have any of those
8-12 responsibilities, the agency shall not create a record regarding
8-13 the employee and the information contained in the notice shall be
8-14 promptly destroyed.>
8-15 (j) An employer participating in the ENHR program is
8-16 strongly encouraged to report information about health insurance
8-17 coverage available through the employer in which a dependent child
8-18 may be enrolled under Section 14.061, Family Code.
8-19 (k) To expand the ENHR program, the Title IV-D agency shall
8-20 work closely with the Texas Employment Commission, the Texas
8-21 Workers' Compensation Commission, the comptroller, the Texas
8-22 Department of Commerce, the secretary of state, and employer
8-23 groups. Efforts to expand the program shall include:
8-24 (1) regularly sending to employers solicitations for
8-25 participation in the program and promotional information about the
8-26 program that includes information on:
8-27 (A) the program's impact on child support and
9-1 medical support enforcement;
9-2 (B) savings in public assistance payments
9-3 attributable to the program;
9-4 (C) benefits to employers and taxpayers of the
9-5 fraud prevention aspects of the program;
9-6 (D) participation requirements; and
9-7 (E) awards available for business participation;
9-9 (2) developing a public awareness program that:
9-10 (A) stresses the importance of securing
9-11 financial support for all children; and
9-12 (B) informs the public about the ENHR program.
9-13 (l) The affected agencies may pool resources, develop a cost
9-14 allocation plan, determine the most cost-effective means of
9-15 establishing and funding the required database, and issue rules,
9-16 solicit bids, or enter into contracts to carry out the purposes of
9-17 this section.
9-18 (m) The affected agencies shall implement the plan to create
9-19 the ENHR database, if cost-effective, using existing funding and
9-20 considering savings and revenue gains that may result from the use
9-21 of such system.
9-22 SECTION 1.07. Chapter 231, Family Code, is amended by adding
9-23 Section 231.305 to read as follows:
9-24 Sec. 231.305. MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON CHILD SUPPORT
9-25 FOR CHILDREN RECEIVING PUBLIC ASSISTANCE. (a) The Title IV-D
9-26 agency and the Texas Department of Human Services by rule shall
9-27 adopt a memorandum of understanding governing the establishment and
10-1 enforcement of court-ordered child support in cases involving
10-2 children who receive financial assistance under Chapter 31, Human
10-3 Resources Code. The memorandum shall require the agency and the
10-4 department to:
10-5 (1) develop procedures to ensure that the information
10-6 the department is required to collect to establish and enforce
10-7 child support:
10-8 (A) is collected from the person applying to
10-9 receive the financial assistance at the time the application is
10-11 (B) is accurate and complete when the department
10-12 forwards the information to the agency; and
10-13 (C) is not information previously reported to
10-14 the agency;
10-15 (2) develop procedures to ensure that the agency does
10-16 not duplicate the efforts of the department in gathering necessary
10-18 (3) clarify each agency's responsibilities in the
10-19 establishment and enforcement of child support; and
10-20 (4) develop guidelines for use by eligibility workers
10-21 and child support enforcement officers in obtaining from an
10-22 applicant the information required to establish and enforce child
10-23 support for that child.
10-24 (b) The Title IV-D agency and the Texas Department of Human
10-25 Services semiannually shall review and renew or modify the
10-26 memorandum as necessary.
10-27 ARTICLE 2. ENFORCEMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT AND MEDICAL
11-1 SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS
11-2 SECTION 2.01. Section 101.005, Family Code, is amended to
11-3 read as follows:
11-4 Sec. 101.005. CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW OFFICER. "Child support
11-5 review officer" means an individual designated and trained by a
11-6 child support agency to conduct reviews under this title < who has
11-7 received family law mediation training>.
11-8 SECTION 2.02. Section 102.007, Family Code, is amended to
11-9 read as follows:
11-10 Sec. 102.007. STANDING OF TITLE IV-D AGENCY. In providing
11-11 services authorized by Chapter 231, the Title IV-D agency or a
11-12 political subdivision contracting with the attorney general to
11-13 provide Title IV-D services under this title may file a child
11-14 support action authorized under this title, including a suit for
11-15 modification or a motion for enforcement.
11-16 SECTION 2.03. Chapter 231, Family Code, is amended by adding
11-17 Section 231.306 to read as follows:
11-18 Sec. 231.306. MAXIMIZING MEDICAL SUPPORT ESTABLISHMENT AND
11-19 COLLECTION BY THE TITLE IV-D AGENCY. (a) On the installation of
11-20 an automated child support enforcement system, the Title IV-D
11-21 agency is strongly encouraged to:
11-22 (1) maximize the collection of medical support; and
11-23 (2) establish cash medical support orders for children
11-24 eligible for medical assistance under the state Medicaid program
11-25 for whom private insurance coverage is not available.
11-26 (b) In this section, "medical support" has the meaning
11-27 assigned by Section 101.020.
12-1 SECTION 2.04. Subchapter E, Chapter 231, Family Code, is
12-2 amended to read as follows:
12-3 SUBCHAPTER E. CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW PROCESS TO ESTABLISH OR
12-4 ENFORCE SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS
12-5 Sec. 231.401. Purpose. The purpose of the child support
12-6 review process authorized by this subchapter is to provide child
12-7 support agencies an opportunity to resolve routine child support
12-8 actions through < negotiation,> agreement of the parties< ,> or
12-9 uncontested orders.
12-10 Sec. 231.402. AGREEMENTS ENCOURAGED. To the extent
12-11 permitted by this subchapter, child support agencies shall make the
12-12 child support review process understandable to all parties and
12-13 shall encourage agreements < through mediation>.
12-14 Sec. 231.403. Bilingual Forms Required. A notice or other
12-15 form used to implement the child support review process shall be
12-16 printed in both Spanish and English.
12-17 Sec. 231.404. INTERPRETER REQUIRED. If a party
12-18 participating in a negotiation conference does not speak English or
12-19 is hearing impaired, the child support agency shall provide for
12-20 interpreter services at no charge to the parties.
12-21 Sec. 231.405. Initiating Child Support Review. < (a) A
12-22 child support agency may review and assess the financial resources
12-23 of a child's parent or of a person presumed or alleged to be the
12-24 child's father from whom child support is requested to determine
12-25 the resources that are available for the support of the child and
12-26 to determine what action is appropriate.>
12-27 < (b)> An administrative action under this subchapter may be
13-1 initiated by issuing a notice of child support review to each party
13-2 entitled to notice < the parents and to the presumed or alleged
13-3 father of a child>.
13-4 Sec. 231.406. CONTENTS OF NOTICE OF CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW.
13-5 (a) The notice of child support review must:
13-6 (1) describe the procedure for a child support review;
13-7 (2) inform the recipient that the recipient < is not
13-8 required to participate in the child support review and> may be
13-9 represented by legal counsel during the review process or at a
13-10 court hearing;
13-11 (3) inform the recipient that the recipient may refuse
13-12 to participate or cease participation in the child support review
13-13 process, but that the refusal by the recipient to participate will
13-14 not prevent the completion of the process or the filing of a child
13-15 support review order < during any stage of the review but that the
13-16 review will continue to completion and that afterward the recipient
13-17 may request a court hearing>;
13-18 (4) include an affidavit of financial resources; and
13-19 (5) include a request that the recipient designate, on
13-20 a form provided by the child support agency, an address for mailing
13-21 any additional notice to the recipient.
13-22 (b) In addition to the information required by Subsection
13-23 (a), the notice of child support review must inform the recipient
13-25 (1) the information requested on the form must be
13-26 returned to the child support agency not later than the 15th day
13-27 after the date the notice is received or delivered; and
14-1 (2) if the requested information is not returned as
14-2 required, the child support agency:
14-3 (A) may proceed with the review using the
14-4 information that is available to the agency; and
14-5 (B) may file a legal action without further
14-6 notice to the recipient, except as otherwise required by law.
14-7 Sec. 231.407. Notice by Mail. (a) A notice required in an
14-8 administrative action under this subchapter must be delivered or
14-9 served by first class mail or certified mail on each party entitled
14-10 to citation or notice as provided by Chapter 102.
14-11 (b) < If notice is served by mail, three days must be added
14-12 to the time in which the person is required to respond.>
14-13 < (c)> This section does not apply to notice required on
14-14 filing of a child support review order or to later judicial
14-16 Sec. 231.408. Administrative Subpoena in Child Support
14-17 Review. (a) In a child support review under this subchapter, a
14-18 child support agency may issue an administrative subpoena to < a
14-19 parent, a person presumed or alleged to be the father of a child
14-20 for whom support is requested, or> any individual or organization
14-21 believed to have information on the financial resources of the
14-22 parent or presumed or alleged father.
14-23 (b) A court may compel compliance with an administrative
14-24 subpoena and award attorney's fees and costs to a child support
14-25 agency enforcing an administrative subpoena on proof that an
14-26 individual or organization failed to comply with the subpoena
14-27 without good cause.
15-1 Sec. 231.409. SCHEDULING AND CONDUCTING NEGOTIATION
15-2 CONFERENCE. (a) The child support agency may schedule a
15-3 negotiation conference without a request from a party.
15-4 (b) The child support agency shall schedule a negotiation
15-5 conference on the timely request of a party < person who completes
15-6 and returns an affidavit of financial resources>.
15-7 (c) A negotiation conference, or any part of a negotiation
15-8 conference, may be conducted by telephone conference call or by
15-9 video conference as well as in person. The negotiation conference
15-10 may be adjourned for a reasonable time to permit mediation of
15-11 issues that cannot be resolved by the parties and the child support
15-13 Sec. 231.410. TIME FOR NEGOTIATION CONFERENCE; NOTICE
15-14 REQUIRED. < (a) A child support review or negotiation conference
15-15 under this subchapter shall be conducted not later than the 45th
15-16 day after the date all notices of child support review have been
15-17 sent to the parties to the action.>
15-18 < (b)> All parties entitled to notice of the negotiation
15-19 conference shall be notified of the date, time, and place of the
15-20 negotiation conference not later than the 10th day before the date
15-21 of the negotiation conference.
15-22 Sec. 231.411. RESCHEDULING NEGOTIATION CONFERENCE; NOTICE
15-23 REQUIRED. A negotiation conference may be rescheduled or adjourned
15-24 on the request of any party at the discretion of the child support
15-25 review officer. All parties must be given notice of the
15-26 rescheduling not later than the third day before the date of the
15-27 rescheduled negotiation conference.
16-1 Sec. 231.412. INFORMATION REQUIRED TO BE PROVIDED AT
16-2 NEGOTIATION CONFERENCE. At the beginning of the negotiation
16-3 conference, the child support review officer shall review with the
16-4 < inform all> parties participating in the conference information
16-5 provided in the notice of child support review and inform the
16-6 parties < in attendance> that:
16-7 (1) the purpose of the negotiation conference is to
16-8 provide an opportunity < attempt> to reach an agreement on a
16-9 < regarding> child support order < payments>;
16-10 (2) < a party does not have to participate in the
16-11 negotiation conference and may request a court hearing;>
16-12 < (3) a party may be represented by an attorney chosen
16-13 by the party;>
16-14 < (4) the parties may stop participating in the
16-15 negotiation conference at any time but that the child support
16-16 review will continue until completed, and, if a child support
16-17 review order is issued, a party may request a court hearing;>
16-18 < (5)> if the parties reach an agreement, the review
16-19 officer will prepare an agreed review order < for the parties'
16-21 (3) < (6)> a party does not have to sign a review order
16-22 prepared by the child support review officer; and
16-23 (4) < (7) even though> a party < signs an agreed review
16-24 order, the party> may request a court hearing at any time before
16-25 the 20th day after the date a petition for confirmation of the
16-26 order is filed < child support review order is confirmed by a
17-1 Sec. 231.413. DETERMINING SUPPORT AMOUNT; MODIFICATION.
17-2 (a) A child support agency may use any information obtained by the
17-3 agency from the parties or any other source and shall apply the
17-4 child support guidelines provided by this code to determine the
17-5 appropriate amount of child support.
17-6 (b) If the child support agency determines that the support
17-7 amount in an existing child support order is not in substantial
17-8 compliance with the guidelines, the child support agency shall
17-9 issue an appropriate child support review order, including a review
17-10 order that has the effect of modifying an existing order for child
17-11 support without the necessity of filing a motion to modify.
17-12 Sec. 231.414. Record Not Required. (a) For the purposes of
17-13 this subchapter, documentary evidence relied on by the child
17-14 support review officer, including an < written> affidavit of a
17-15 party, together with < the written findings, and> the child support
17-16 review order is < from a negotiation conference are> a sufficient
17-17 record of the proceedings.
17-18 (b) A child support agency is not required to make any other
17-19 record or transcript of the negotiation conference.
17-20 Sec. 231.415 ISSUANCE OF CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW ORDER OR
17-21 FINDING THAT NO ORDER SHOULD BE ISSUED; EFFECT. (a) If the
17-22 negotiation conference does not result in agreement by all parties
17-23 to the < an agreed> child support review order, the review officer
17-24 shall promptly issue and sign a final decision in the form of a
17-25 child support review order< ,> or a determination that a child
17-26 support review order should not be issued, not later than the fifth
17-27 day after the date of the negotiation conference.
18-1 (b) If < On the day that a child support review order is
18-2 issued or> a determination is made that a child support order will
18-3 not be issued, each party to a child support review proceeding
18-4 shall be furnished immediately by hand delivery or by mail < a copy
18-5 of the order or> notice of the determination.
18-6 Sec. 231.416. VACATING CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW ORDER. (a) The
18-7 review officer may vacate a child support review order on the
18-8 officer's own motion at any time before the order is filed with the
18-10 (b) A new negotiation conference, with notice to all
18-11 parties, may < shall> be scheduled or the officer may make a
18-12 determination that a child support review order should not be
18-13 issued and give notice of that determination as provided by this
18-14 subchapter < to take place not later than the 10th day after the
18-15 date the child support review order was vacated>.
18-16 Sec. 231.417. CONTENTS OF CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW ORDER.
18-17 (a) An agreed child support review order must contain all
18-18 provisions that are appropriate for an order under this title.
18-19 (b) A child support review order that is not agreed to must
18-20 include child support and medical support provisions, including a
18-21 determination of arrearages or retroactive support.
18-22 (c) A child support review order providing for the
18-23 enforcement of an order may not contain a provision that imposes
18-24 incarceration or a fine or contains a finding of contempt.
18-25 (d) A child support review order that establishes or
18-26 modifies an amount of previously ordered support must include the
18-27 findings required by Section 154.130.
19-1 (e) A child support review order that is not agreed to by
19-2 all the parties may specify and reserve for the court at the
19-3 confirmation hearing unresolved issues relating to conservatorship
19-4 or possession of a child.
19-5 Sec. 231.418. ADDITIONAL CONTENTS OF AGREED CHILD SUPPORT
19-6 REVIEW ORDER. If a negotiation conference results in an agreement
19-7 < by all parties>, the < a> child support review order must be signed
19-8 by each party who agrees to the order, must contain the provisions
19-9 required by Section 231.417, < all parties to the action> and, as to
19-10 each party in agreement with the order, must contain:
19-11 (1) a waiver by the < each> party of the right to
19-12 service < and> of process, < the right to> a court hearing and the
19-13 making of a record on the petition for confirmation;
19-14 (2) the mailing address of the < each> party; and
19-15 (3) the following statement printed on the order in
19-16 boldface or in all capital letters:
19-17 "I KNOW THAT I DO NOT HAVE TO SIGN THIS < AGREED>
19-18 CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW ORDER. I KNOW THAT I HAVE A RIGHT
19-19 TO BE PERSONALLY SERVED WITH THE PETITION FOR
19-20 CONFIRMATION OF THIS ORDER < HAVE A COURT HEAR EVIDENCE
19-21 AND MAKE A DECISION IN THIS MATTER>. I KNOW THAT I
19-22 HAVE A RIGHT TO CHANGE MY MIND AND WITHDRAW MY
19-23 AGREEMENT TO THE TERMS OF THIS ORDER AND REQUEST THAT A
19-24 COURT DECIDE THIS MATTER BY FILING A REQUEST FOR COURT
19-25 HEARING AT ANY TIME BEFORE THE 20TH DAY AFTER THE DATE
19-26 THE PETITION FOR CONFIRMATION OF THE ORDER IS FILED
19-27 WITH THE CLERK OF THE COURT. I KNOW THAT IF I FAIL TO
20-1 FILE A REQUEST FOR A COURT HEARING A COURT MAY CONFIRM
20-2 AND APPROVE THIS ORDER WITHOUT A HEARING, AND THE ORDER
20-3 WILL BECOME A VALID COURT ORDER. I KNOW THAT IF I DO
20-4 NOT OBEY THE TERMS OF THIS ORDER I MAY BE HELD IN
20-5 CONTEMPT OF COURT."
20-6 Sec. 231.419. FILING OF PETITION FOR CONFIRMATION. (a) The
20-7 child support agency shall file a petition for confirmation with
20-8 the clerk of the court having continuing jurisdiction of the child
20-9 who is the subject of the order.
20-10 (b) If there is not a court of continuing jurisdiction, the
20-11 child support agency shall file the petition for confirmation with
20-12 the clerk of a court having jurisdiction under this title.
20-13 Sec. 231.420. CONTENTS OF PETITION FOR CONFIRMATION;
20-14 DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE TO BE FILED WITH PETITION. (a) A petition
20-15 for confirmation shall must include the final child support review
20-16 order as an attachment to the petition.
20-17 (b) Documentary evidence relied on by the child support
20-18 agency, including, if applicable, a < verified written report of a
20-19 paternity testing expert concerning the results of paternity
20-20 testing conducted in the case or a> statement of paternity or a
20-21 written report of a parentage testing expert, shall be filed with
20-22 the clerk as exhibits to the petition, but are not required to be
20-23 served on the parties. The petition must identify the exhibits
20-24 that are filed with the clerk.
20-25 Sec. 231.421. DUTIES OF CLERK OF COURT. (a) On the filing
20-26 of a petition for confirmation, the clerk of court shall endorse on
20-27 the petition the date and time that the petition is filed < and sign
21-1 the endorsement>.
21-2 (b) If the petition is for an original action, the clerk
21-3 shall endorse the appropriate court and cause number on the
21-5 (c) If the petition is to confirm an agreed child support
21-6 review order under this subchapter, the child support agency
21-7 < clerk> shall mail to each party that agreed to the order, at the
21-8 address shown on the order, a copy of the petition with < and
21-9 written notice of the filing of the petition that states> the
21-10 court, filing date, and cause number of the case. The clerk shall
21-11 note on the docket that the notice was mailed. The child support
21-12 agency shall file a certificate of service showing the date of the
21-13 mailing to each party.
21-14 (d) The < If the petition is to confirm an order other than
21-15 an agreed order, the> clerk shall issue service of citation,
21-16 including a copy of the petition and the child support review
21-17 order, to each party entitled to service who has not waived
21-19 (e) A clerk of a district court is entitled to collect in a
21-20 child support review case the fees authorized in a Title IV-D case
21-21 by this chapter < a fee for:>
21-22 < (1) the filing of a petition under this section as
21-23 provided by Section 51.317(b)(1), Government Code;>
21-24 < (2) the issuance of notice or process as provided by
21-25 Section 51.317(b)(4), Government Code; and>
21-26 < (3) service of notice or citation as provided by
21-27 Section 51.319(4), Government Code, or as otherwise provided by
22-2 Sec. 231.422. FORM TO REQUEST A COURT HEARING. (a) A court
22-3 shall consider any responsive pleading that is intended as an
22-4 objection to confirmation of a child support review order,
22-5 including a general denial, as a request for a court hearing.
22-6 (b) The < A> child support agency shall:
22-7 (1) < attach a copy of a form to request a court
22-8 hearing to each party's copy of the petition for confirmation of a
22-9 child support review order;>
22-10 < (2)> make available to each clerk of court copies of
22-11 the form to request a court hearing; and
22-12 (2) < (3)> provide the form to request a court hearing
22-13 to a party to the child support review proceeding on request.
22-14 (c) The clerk shall furnish the form to a party to a
22-15 proceeding under this subchapter on the request of the party.
22-16 Sec. 231.423. TIME TO REQUEST A COURT HEARING< ; HEARING SUA
22-17 SPONTE>. < (a)> A party may file a request for a court hearing not
22-18 later than the 20th day after the date the petition for
22-19 confirmation of a child support review order is served or mailed as
22-20 provided by this subchapter < an agreed administrative order is
22-21 filed or not later than the Monday following the 20th day after the
22-22 date the party received service of citation in a case involving the
22-23 confirmation of any other type of order>.
22-24 < (b) If the court finds that confirmation of a child support
22-25 review order without a hearing would not be in the best interests
22-26 of a child who is the subject of the order, the court may schedule
22-27 a hearing. The order setting the hearing on the confirmation of
23-1 the order shall state the court's specific reasons for conducting
23-2 the hearing.>
23-3 Sec. 231.424. CONFIRMATION WITHOUT HEARING. Not later than
23-4 the 30th day after the date a petition for confirmation that
23-5 includes waivers by all parties is filed or after the date of
23-6 service is made on the last party required to be served for a
23-7 petition for confirmation that does not include waivers, whichever
23-8 is later, the court shall confirm the child support review order by
23-9 signing an order of confirmation unless a party has filed a timely
23-10 request for hearing or the court has scheduled a hearing.
23-11 Sec. 231.425. EFFECT OF REQUEST FOR HEARING; PLEADING.
23-12 (a) A request for hearing or an order setting a hearing on
23-13 confirmation stays confirmation of the order pending the hearing.
23-14 (b) At a hearing on confirmation, all issues in the child
23-15 support review order shall be heard in a trial de novo.
23-16 (c) The petition for confirmation and the child support
23-17 review order constitute a sufficient pleading by the child support
23-18 agency for relief on any issue addressed in the petition and order.
23-19 (d) The request for hearing may limit the scope of the de
23-20 novo hearing by specifying the issues that are in dispute.
23-21 Sec. 231.426. TIME FOR COURT HEARING. A court shall hold a
23-22 hearing on the confirmation of a child support review order not
23-23 later than the 30th day after the date the < court determines that a
23-24 hearing should be held or the> last party to be served files a
23-25 timely request for a court hearing.
23-26 Sec. 231.427. ORDER AFTER HEARING; EFFECT OF CONFIRMATION
23-27 ORDER. (a) After the hearing on the confirmation of a child
24-1 support review order, the court shall:
24-2 (1) if the court finds that the order should be
24-3 confirmed, immediately sign a confirmation order and enter the
24-4 order as an order of the court;
24-5 (2) if the court finds that the relief granted in the
24-6 child support review order is inappropriate, sign an appropriate
24-7 order at the conclusion of the hearing or as soon after the
24-8 conclusion of the hearing as is practical and enter the order as an
24-9 order of the court; or
24-10 (3) if the court finds that all relief should be
24-11 denied, enter an order that denies relief and includes specific
24-12 findings explaining the reasons that relief is denied.
24-13 (b) On the signing of a confirmation order by the judge of
24-14 the court, the child support review order becomes a final order
24-15 < judgment> of the court.
24-16 Sec. 231.428. SPECIAL CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW PROCEDURES
24-17 RELATING TO ESTABLISHMENT OF PARENTAGE < PATERNITY>. (a) If the
24-18 parentage < paternity> of a child has not been established < by court
24-19 order>, the notice of child support review served on the parties
24-20 must include an allegation that the recipient < alleged father> is a
24-21 < the> biological parent < father> of the child. The notice shall
24-22 inform the parties that the alleged father of the child may sign a
24-23 statement of paternity and that any party may request that
24-24 scientifically accepted parentage < paternity> testing be conducted
24-25 to assist in determining the identities of < whether the alleged
24-26 father is> the child's parents < father>.
24-27 (b) A negotiation conference shall be conducted to resolve
25-1 any issues of support in an action in which all parties agree as to
25-2 < that the alleged father is> the child's parentage < biological
25-4 (c) If a party denies parentage < that the alleged father is
25-5 the child's biological father or, in the case of a presumed father,
25-6 if either party files a verified denial of paternity>, the child
25-7 support agency may schedule parentage < paternity> testing. If
25-8 either party fails or refuses to participate in administrative
25-9 parentage testing, the child support agency may file a child
25-10 support review order with a request for court-ordered parentage
25-11 testing. The court shall follow the procedures and may impose the
25-12 sanctions provided by this code to obtain compliance with the
25-13 parentage testing order. The court shall confirm the child support
25-14 review order as a temporary or final order of the court only after
25-15 an opportunity for parentage testing has been provided.
25-16 (d) If parentage < paternity> testing does not exclude the
25-17 alleged parent and < father from being the child's father and a
25-18 party continues to deny that the alleged father is the child's
25-19 biological father, the child support agency may schedule a
25-20 negotiation conference as provided by this subchapter. If> the
25-21 results of a verified written report of a parentage < paternity>
25-22 testing expert meet the requirements of Chapter 160 for issuing a
25-23 temporary order, the child support agency may issue a child support
25-24 review order.
25-25 (e) If the results of parentage < paternity> testing exclude
25-26 an < the> alleged parent < or presumed father> from being the
25-27 biological parent < father> of the child, the child support agency
26-1 shall issue a child support review order that declares that the
26-2 excluded person < alleged or presumed father> is not a parent < the
26-3 father> of the child.
26-4 (f) Any party may file a petition for confirmation of a
26-5 child support review order issued under this section.
26-6 Sec. 231.429. ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE LAW NOT APPLICABLE.
26-7 The child support review process under this chapter is not governed
26-8 by the administrative procedure law, Chapter 2001, Government Code.
26-9 Sec. 231.430. EXPIRATION OF SUBCHAPTER. This subchapter
26-10 expires September 1, 1997.
26-11 Sec. 231.431. STUDY OF CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW PROCESS. The
26-12 attorney general as the Title IV-D agency shall conduct a study to
26-13 determine and compare the cost of child support enforcement through
26-14 use of the child support review process authorized by this
26-15 subchapter and the cost of child support enforcement by the
26-16 attorney general through use of other enforcement mechanisms
26-17 available under this chapter. The attorney general shall report
26-18 the results of this study to the governor and the legislature not
26-19 later than September 1, 1996, and shall include in the report
26-20 recommendations regarding statutory amendments for improving
26-21 judicial and administrative processes for child support
26-22 enforcement. This section expires September 2, 1996.
26-23 SECTION 2.05. Section 71.035(a), Government Code, is amended
26-24 to read as follows:
26-25 (a) The council shall gather judicial statistics and other
26-26 pertinent information from the several state judges and other court
26-27 officials of this state. In addition, the council shall implement
27-1 a monthly tracking system to ensure accountability for counties and
27-2 courts which participate in the statewide integrated system for
27-3 child support and medical support enforcement established under
27-4 Section 231.0011, Family Code. As a duty of office, the district
27-5 clerks and county clerks serving the affected courts shall report
27-6 monthly such information as may be required by the council,
27-7 including, at a minimum, the time required to enforce cases from
27-8 date of delinquency, from date of filing, and from date of service
27-9 until date of disposition. Such information as is necessary to
27-10 complete the report and not directly within the control of the
27-11 district or county clerk, such as date of delinquency, shall be
27-12 provided to the clerk by the child support registry or by the
27-13 enforcement agency providing Title IV-D enforcement services in the
27-14 court. The monthly report shall be transmitted to the Office of
27-15 Court Administration no later than the 20th day of the month
27-16 following the month reported, in such form as may be prescribed by
27-17 the Office of Court Administration, which may include electronic
27-18 data transfer. Copies of such reports shall be maintained in the
27-19 office of the appropriate district or county clerk for a period of
27-20 at least two years, and shall be available to the public for
27-21 inspection and reproduction.
27-22 ARTICLE 3. INTERAGENCY COOPERATION AND STUDIES
27-23 SECTION 3.01. MONITORING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STATEWIDE
27-24 INTEGRATED SYSTEM FOR CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT. (a) The attorney
27-25 general shall establish a work group to monitor the progress toward
27-26 implementation of the integrated statewide system established by
27-27 Section 1.01 of this Bill, and determine the effect of that effort
28-1 as it relates to:
28-2 (1) maximizing federal assistance for county-based
28-3 child support collection efforts;
28-4 (2) replacing the existing state child support
28-5 enforcement application system with an automatic enforcement system
28-6 that does not require an applicant to file a complaint.
28-7 (b) The work group established by this Act shall report its
28-8 findings and recommendations to the attorney general and shall
28-9 notify the governor, the comptroller and the legislature of the
28-10 filing of the report not later than September 1, 1996, and annually
28-12 SECTION 3.02. AGREEMENT FOR CASH INCENTIVES FOR MEDICAL
28-13 ASSISTANCE. (a) The attorney general as the Title IV-D agency and
28-14 the Texas Department of Health shall negotiate an agreement
28-15 regarding the payment by the department of a cash incentive to the
28-16 agency for each child eligible for medical assistance under the
28-17 state Medicaid program that the agency causes to be enrolled in a
28-18 private health insurance plan, and for payment of a portion of the
28-19 state share of costs recovered or saved as a result of the efforts
28-20 of the agency.
28-21 (b) The attorney general and the Texas Department of Health
28-22 shall report to the legislature the results of negotiations
28-23 conducted under this section not later than October 1, 1996.
28-24 SECTION 3.03. STUDY ON MEDICAL SUPPORT. (a) The attorney
28-25 general, the state Medicaid administrator and the Insurance
28-26 Commission shall initiate a study regarding establishment of a
28-27 health insurance purchasing alliance to purchase insurance coverage
29-1 for children for whom a child support obligation is established or
29-2 enforced under Part D of Title IV of the federal Social Security
29-3 Act (42 U.S.C. Section 651 et seq.).
29-4 (b) Not later than October 1, 1996, the attorney general,
29-5 the state Medicaid administrator and the Insurance Commission shall
29-6 prepare and file a report summarizing the results of the study
29-7 required by this section and shall give notice of filing the report
29-8 to the:
29-9 (1) governor;
29-10 (2) lieutenant governor;
29-11 (3) speaker of the house of representatives;
29-12 (4) attorney general; and
29-13 (5) commissioner of health and human services.
29-14 SECTION 3.04. USE OF PRIVATE ENTITIES TO ASSIST IN CHILD
29-15 SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT. (a) The Office of the Attorney General is
29-16 strongly encouraged to expand the cost-effective use of private
29-17 contractors to perform Title IV-D program functions.
29-18 (b) The Office of the Attorney General shall, not later than
29-19 July 1, 1996, perform a cost analysis such as that used by the
29-20 Council on Competitive Government, for a standardized comparison of
29-21 similar activities performed by private firms and the Office of the
29-22 Attorney General. If Office of the Attorney General costs for
29-23 identified activities of the Title IV-D agency are higher than the
29-24 private contractors' and the contractor could deliver services as
29-25 effectively as the Title IV-D agency, the agency may consider a
29-26 contractor to perform the activities. This section does not limit
29-27 the authority of the Title IV-D agency to contract for services.
30-1 (c) The attorney general shall coordinate with the Council
30-2 on Competitive Government, and may employ private consultants to
30-3 develop the methodology and evaluate the activities being
30-4 considered for privatization.
30-5 (d) The attorney general shall report the results of the
30-6 efforts made under this section, and notify the governor, the
30-7 comptroller and the legislature of the filing of the report not
30-8 later than December 1, 1996.
30-9 ARTICLE 4. HEALTH INSURANCE
30-10 SECTION 4.01. Chapter 3, Insurance Code, is amended by
30-11 adding Subchapter J to read as follows:
30-12 SUBCHAPTER J. MEDICAL CHILD SUPPORT
30-13 Art. 3.96-1. DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
30-14 (1) "Child" has the meaning assigned by Section
30-15 101.003(a) and (b), Family Code.
30-16 (2) "Child support agency" has the meaning assigned by
30-17 Section 101.004, Family Code.
30-18 (3) "Custodial parent" means:
30-19 (A) a managing conservator of a child or a
30-20 possessory conservator of a child who is a parent of the child; or
30-21 (B) a guardian of the person of a child, or
30-22 another custodian of a child if the guardian or custodian is
30-23 designated by a court or administrative agency of this or another
30-25 (4) "Health insurer" means any insurance company,
30-26 group hospital service corporation, or health maintenance
30-27 organization that delivers or issues for delivery an individual,
31-1 group, blanket, or franchise insurance policy or insurance
31-2 agreement, a group hospital service contract, or an evidence of
31-3 coverage that provides benefits for medical or surgical expenses
31-4 incurred as a result of an accident or sickness.
31-5 (5) "Insurer" means:
31-6 (A) a health insurer;
31-7 (B) a governmental entity subject to:
31-8 (i) Article 3.51-1, 3.51-2, 3.51-4,
31-9 3.51-5, or 3.51-5A of this code; or
31-10 (ii) Section 1, Chapter 123, Acts of the
31-11 60th Legislature, Regular Session, 1967 (Article 3.51-3, Vernon's
31-12 Texas Insurance Code);
31-13 (C) a multiple employer welfare arrangement, as
31-14 that term is defined by Article 3.95-1 of this code; or
31-15 (D) a group health plan, as defined by Section
31-16 607(1), Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C.
31-17 Section 1167).
31-18 (6) "Medical assistance" means medical assistance
31-19 under the state Medicaid program.
31-20 Art. 3.96-2. DENIAL OF ENROLLMENT PROHIBITED. An insurer
31-21 may not deny enrollment of a child under the health insurance
31-22 coverage of the child's parent on the ground that the child:
31-23 (1) has a preexisting condition;
31-24 (2) was born out of wedlock;
31-25 (3) is not claimed as a dependent on the parent's
31-26 federal income tax return;
31-27 (4) does not reside with the parent or in the
32-1 insurer's service area; or
32-2 (5) is or has been an applicant for or recipient of
32-3 medical assistance.
32-4 Art. 3.96-3. ENROLLMENT REQUIRED. (a) If a parent eligible
32-5 for dependent health coverage through an insurer is required by a
32-6 court or administrative order to provide health coverage for a
32-7 child, the insurer shall permit the parent to enroll the child
32-8 without regard to any enrollment period restriction.
32-9 (b) If a parent eligible for dependent health coverage
32-10 through an insurer is required by a court or administrative order
32-11 to provide health coverage for a child and fails to apply to obtain
32-12 the health insurance coverage for the child, the insurer shall
32-13 enroll the child on application of a custodial parent of the child,
32-14 a child support agency having a duty to collect or enforce support
32-15 for the child, or the child.
32-16 Art. 3.96-4. CANCELLATION OR NONRENEWAL PROHIBITED. (a) An
32-17 insurer may not cancel or refuse to renew insurance coverage of a
32-18 child entitled to enrollment or enrolled under this subchapter
32-19 unless satisfactory written evidence is filed with the insurer that
32-20 shows that:
32-21 (1) the court order or administrative order that
32-22 required the coverage is no longer in effect; or
32-23 (2) the child is enrolled in comparable health
32-24 insurance coverage or will be enrolled in comparable coverage that
32-25 will take effect not later than the effective date of the
32-26 cancellation or nonrenewal.
32-27 (b) As used in this section, "a child entitled to enrollment
33-1 or enrolled under this subchapter" does not include a child as to
33-2 whom eligibility has terminated because the parent eligible for
33-3 dependent health coverage is no longer eligible for such coverage.
33-4 Art. 3.96-5. NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY OF CONTINUATION OR
33-5 CONVERSION COVERAGE. If dependent health coverage being terminated
33-6 pursuant to Art. 3.96-4(b) contains provisions for the continuation
33-7 or conversion of such coverage for the child, the insurer shall
33-8 notify the custodial parent and the child support agency of the
33-9 costs and other requirements for extending or converting such
33-10 coverage, and shall enroll or continue enrollment of the child on
33-11 application of a parent of the child, a child support agency or the
33-13 Art. 3.96-6. EFFECT OF ASSIGNMENT OF MEDICAL SUPPORT RIGHTS
33-14 TO STATE AGENCY; INFORMATION. (a) An insurer may not impose
33-15 requirements on a state agency that has been assigned the rights of
33-16 an individual eligible for medical assistance and covered for
33-17 health benefits from the insurer that are different from the
33-18 requirements applicable to an agent or assignee of any other
33-19 covered individual.
33-20 (b) An insurer shall provide to a state agency providing
33-21 medical assistance, or to a child support agency enforcing medical
33-22 support, information as necessary to facilitate reimbursement of
33-23 medical services provided to or paid on behalf of a child.
33-24 Art. 3.96-7. RIGHTS OF CUSTODIAL PARENT AND ADULT CHILD.
33-25 (a) If a child receives health insurance coverage through the
33-26 insurer of a parent of the child, that insurer must provide
33-27 information and documents to each custodial parent or an adult
34-1 child as necessary for the child to obtain benefits through that
34-2 coverage, including:
34-3 (1) the name of the insurer;
34-4 (2) the number of the policy;
34-5 (3) a copy of the policy and schedule of benefits;
34-6 (4) a health insurance membership card;
34-7 (5) claim forms; and
34-8 (6) any other information or document necessary to
34-9 submit a claim in accordance with the insurer's policies and
34-11 (b) The insurer shall permit a custodial parent, a health
34-12 care provider, adult child, or a state agency that has been
34-13 assigned medical support rights to submit claims for covered
34-14 services without the approval of the insured parent.
34-15 (c) The insurer shall make payments on covered claims
34-16 submitted in accordance with this article directly to the custodial
34-17 parent, health care provider, adult child, or state agency making
34-18 the claim.
34-19 Art. 3.96-8. SERVICE AREA RESTRICTIONS PROHIBITED. An
34-20 insurer may not enforce otherwise applicable provisions that would
34-21 deny, limit, or reduce payment for claims for a covered child who
34-22 lives outside the insurer's coverage territory but inside the
34-23 United States.
34-24 Art. 3.96-9. PENALTIES; REMEDIES. An insurer that violates
34-25 this subchapter is subject to the same penalties, and an injured
34-26 party has the same rights and remedies, as those provided by
34-27 Section 16, Article 21.21, of this code.
35-1 Art. 3.96-10. RULES. The commissioner shall adopt
35-2 reasonable rules as necessary to implement this subchapter and the
35-3 requirements of 42 U.S.C. Section 1396a(a)(60), including rules
35-4 defining acts that constitute unfair or deceptive practices under
35-5 Section 13, Article 21.21, of this code.
35-6 SECTION 4.02. Section 101.012, Family Code, is amended to
35-7 read as follows:
35-8 Sec. 101.012. EMPLOYER. "Employer" means a person,
35-9 corporation, partnership, workers' compensation insurance carrier,
35-10 governmental entity, and the United States, and includes, for
35-11 purposes of enrolling dependents in a group health insurance plan,
35-12 a union, trade association, or other similar organization.
35-13 SECTION 4.03. Section 154.184, Family Code, is amended to
35-14 read as follows:
35-15 Sec. 154.184. EFFECT OF ORDER. (a) Receipt of < For
35-16 purposes of enrolling a child in a health insurance program under
35-17 this subchapter,> a medical support order requiring that health
35-18 insurance be provided for a child shall be considered a change in
35-19 the family circumstances of the employee or member, for health
35-20 insurance purposes, < covered person> equivalent to the birth or
35-21 adoption of a child < by the covered person>.
35-22 (b) < On receipt of the order by the employer, the> The child
35-23 shall be automatically enrolled for the first 31 days after the
35-24 receipt of the order by the employer on the same terms and
35-25 conditions as apply to any other < a> dependent child.
35-26 (c) < On receipt of the order by the employer, t> The
35-27 employer shall notify the insurer of the automatic enrollment.
36-1 (d) During the 31-day period, the employer and insurer shall
36-2 complete all necessary forms and procedures to make the enrollment
36-3 permanent, or shall report in accordance with this subchapter the
36-4 reasons the coverage cannot be made permanent < policyholder shall
36-5 apply for coverage for the child in accordance with the medical
36-6 support order>.
36-7 SECTION 4.04. Section 154.186, Family Code, is amended to
36-8 read as follows:
36-9 Sec. 154.186. NOTICE TO EMPLOYER. The obligee, obligor, or
36-10 a child support agency < local domestic relations office, or Title
36-11 IV-D agency> may send a < certified> copy of the order requiring an
36-12 employee to provide health insurance coverage for a < the> child to
36-13 the employer < by certified mail, return receipt requested. The
36-14 order is binding on the employer on receipt>.
36-15 SECTION 4.05. Section 154.187, Family Code, is amended by
36-16 amending Subsections (a) and (c), and by adding new Subsection (g)
36-17 to read as follows:
36-18 (a) An order to an employer directing that health insurance
36-19 coverage be provided to a child of an employee or member is binding
36-20 on the employer on receipt. If the employee or member is eligible
36-21 for dependent health coverage for the child, the < On receipt of an
36-22 order directing that health insurance coverage be extended to a
36-23 child of an employee, an> employer shall immediately enroll the
36-24 child in a health insurance plan < available to the employee. If
36-25 the employer is not able to immediately enroll the child, the
36-26 employer shall enroll the child at the next available enrollment
36-27 period as a dependent of the employee>. If dependent coverage is
37-1 not available to the employee or member through the employer's
37-2 health insurance plan, or the employer < is responsible for
37-3 providing notice of this fact but> is not responsible or otherwise
37-4 liable for providing such coverage, but shall provide notice to the
37-5 sender in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.
37-6 (c) An employer who has received an order under this
37-7 subchapter shall provide to the sender, by first class mail not
37-8 later than the 30th day after the date the employer receives the
37-9 order, a statement that the child:
37-10 (1) has been enrolled in a health insurance plan; or
37-11 (2) < will be enrolled in a health insurance plan at
37-12 the next available enrollment period and provide the expected date
37-13 of such enrollment; or>
37-14 < (3)> cannot be enrolled in a health insurance plan and
37-15 provide the reason why coverage cannot be provided.
37-16 (g) An employer who fails to enroll a child, fails to
37-17 withhold or remit premiums or cash medical support, or
37-18 discriminates in hiring or employment on the basis of a medical
37-19 support order shall be subject to the penalties and fines in
37-20 Subchapter C, Chapter 158.
37-21 SECTION 4.06. Section 154.192, Family Code, is amended to
37-22 read as follows:
37-23 Sec. 154.192. < HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATION. This
37-24 subchapter does not require a health maintenance organization to
37-25 provide coverage to a child who resides outside the geographic
37-26 service area>. CANCELLATION OR ELIMINATION OF INSURANCE COVERAGE
37-27 FOR CHILD. (a) Unless the employee or member ceases to be
38-1 eligible for dependent coverage, or the employer has eliminated
38-2 dependent health coverage for all of the employer's employees or
38-3 members, the employer may not cancel or eliminate coverage of a
38-4 child enrolled under this subchapter until the employer is provided
38-5 satisfactory written evidence that:
38-6 (1) the court order or administrative order requiring
38-7 the coverage is no longer in effect; or
38-8 (2) the child is enrolled in comparable health
38-9 insurance coverage or will be enrolled in comparable coverage that
38-10 will take effect not later than the effective date of the
38-11 cancellation or elimination of the employer's coverage.
38-12 SECTION 4.07. Section 158.206(a), Family Code, is amended to
38-13 read as follows:
38-14 (a) An employer receiving an order or writ of withholding,
38-15 including an order directing that health insurance be provided to a
38-16 child, who complies with the order or writ is not liable to the
38-17 obligor for the amount of income withheld and paid as provided in
38-18 the order or writ.
38-19 ARTICLE 5. EFFECTIVE DATE AND TRANSITION PROVISIONS; EMERGENCY
38-20 SECTION 5.01. (a) This Act takes effect September 1, 1995.
38-21 (b) Subchapter J, Chapter 3, Insurance Code, as added by
38-22 Section 4.01 of this Act applies only to an insurance policy or
38-23 evidence of coverage that is delivered, issued for delivery, or
38-24 renewed on or after January 1, 1996. A policy or evidence of
38-25 coverage that is delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed before
38-26 January 1, 1996, is governed by the law as it existed immediately
38-27 before the effective date of this Act, and that law is continued in
39-1 effect for that purpose.
39-2 (c) The Office of the Attorney General may exercise the
39-3 contracting authority granted in Section 231.0011, Family Code, as
39-4 added by Section 1.01 of this Act to provide for a phased
39-5 implementation of the state wide system, and shall implement the
39-6 system to the extent that locally generated funds and federal
39-7 reimbursement related to such funds are sufficient to pay for
39-9 (d) The Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial
39-10 System may phase in the monthly report required by Section 71.035,
39-11 Government Code, as amended by Section 2.05 of this Act to
39-12 correspond with the phased implementation of the statewide
39-13 integrated system for child support enforcement described in
39-14 Section 231.0011, Family Code, as added by Section 1.01 of this
39-16 (e) If before implementing any provision of this Act, the
39-17 attorney general, the Texas Department of Health, the Texas
39-18 Department of Human Services, or another affected agency determines
39-19 that a waiver or authorization from a federal agency is necessary
39-20 for implementation of that provision, the affected agency shall
39-21 promptly apply for a waiver, and the provision shall take effect
39-22 when necessary waivers have been granted. A copy of each waiver
39-23 request shall be provided to the governor, the lieutenant governor
39-24 and the speaker of the house of representatives.
39-25 (f) For the purpose of implementing the integrated system
39-26 established by Section 231.0011, Family Code, as added by Section
39-27 1.01 and Section 71.035, Government Code, as amended by Section
40-1 2.05 of this Act, all funds received from the federal government as
40-2 reimbursement for expenses directly related to the integrated
40-3 system, including the federal match for locally generated funds,
40-4 shall be in excess of any amount appropriated to the attorney
40-5 general by other Acts of the 74th Legislature, and are hereby
40-6 appropriated to the attorney general for the fiscal years ending
40-7 August 31, 1996 and August 31, 1997.
40-8 SECTION 5.02. Not later than December 1, 1996, the attorney
40-9 general shall report to the legislature an estimate of the cost
40-10 savings to the state and effectiveness of the expansion of child
40-11 support enforcement services and of privatization efforts.
40-12 SECTION 5.03. (a) The Office of the Attorney General, in
40-13 conjunction with the Texas Department of Human Services, shall
40-14 develop and implement a plan to assign a representative to work
40-15 with department eligibility workers in department offices or
40-16 facilities that are located in the same geographic region as
40-17 offices or facilities of the attorney general. The plan shall:
40-18 (1) include a schedule for implementation; and
40-19 (2) provide that the Office of the Attorney General
40-20 may make a work assignment under this subsection only if the
40-21 anticipated increased collection of child support for public
40-22 assistance cases is greater than the cost of placing the
40-23 representative in a department office or facility.
40-24 (b) Not later than October 1, 1995, the attorney general
40-25 shall complete the plan required by this section and send notice of
40-26 filing the completed plan to the governor, the lieutenant governor,
40-27 and the speaker of the house of representatives.
41-1 (c) The attorney general and the Texas Department of Human
41-2 Services shall prepare the initial memorandum of understanding
41-3 required by Section 1.07 of Act, not later than December 1, 1995.
41-4 SECTION 5.04. The change in law made to Subchapter E,
41-5 Chapter 231, Family Code, as amended by this Act, applies only to a
41-6 child support review for which notice is given on or after the
41-7 effective date of this Act. A child support review for which
41-8 notice is given before that date is governed by the law in effect
41-9 at the time notice was given, and the former law is continued in
41-10 effect for that purpose.
41-11 SECTION 5.05. (a) Section 3.01 of this Act expires on
41-12 September 2, 1997.
41-13 (b) Subsection (b) of Section 3.02, and 3.03 of this Act
41-14 expire January 1, 1997.
41-15 SECTION 5.06. The importance of this legislation and the
41-16 crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
41-17 emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
41-18 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
41-19 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.