By Harris                                              S.B. No. 793
       74R6271 JMM/MJW-D
                                 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.
    1-6        SECTION 1.01.  Chapter 76, Human Resources Code, is amended
    1-7  by adding Section 76.0011 to read as follows:
    1-9  ENFORCEMENT.  (a)  The attorney general may and is strongly
   1-10  encouraged to contract with a private attorney, other private
   1-11  entity, or political subdivision of the state to:
   1-12              (1)  establish or modify child support obligations;
   1-13              (2)  collect child support; or
   1-14              (3)  determine paternity under this chapter or federal
   1-15  law.
   1-16        (b)  In contracting for child support enforcement services
   1-17  under this section, the attorney general shall use competitive
   1-18  bidding to the extent authorized by law.  A contract made under
   1-19  this section shall provide that the entity performing child support
   1-20  enforcement services receive compensation through a contingency fee
   1-21  determined from a percentage of the collections made by the entity.
   1-22        (c)  The attorney general shall contract with private
   1-23  attorneys or other private entities to represent child support
   1-24  obligees who receive financial assistance under Chapter 31 in not
    2-1  less than 10 percent of cases in which a child support payment is
    2-2  delinquent by 12 months or more.
    2-3        (d)  A private attorney, other private entity, or political
    2-4  subdivision that contracts with the attorney general under this
    2-5  section may use any means of enforcement available to the attorney
    2-6  general under state law.
    2-7        (e)  The attorney general shall provide copies of all
    2-8  contracts entered into under this section to the Legislative Budget
    2-9  Board and the Governor's Office of Budget and Planning, along with
   2-10  a written justification of the need for each contract, within 60
   2-11  days after the execution of the contract.
   2-12        (f)  The attorney general shall attempt to award to
   2-13  disadvantaged businesses at least 20 percent of the contracts
   2-14  awarded to private attorneys or private entities under this
   2-15  section.
   2-16        (g)  The attorney general shall submit to the governor and
   2-17  the legislature not later than August 31 of each year a report that
   2-18  indicates the:
   2-19              (1)  name of each disadvantaged business awarded a
   2-20  contract under this section; and
   2-21              (2)  percentage of the total amount of compensation
   2-22  paid by the attorney general to private attorneys and private
   2-23  entities under this section received by disadvantaged businesses.
   2-24        (h)  The attorney general shall give preference to a private
   2-25  entity with a principal place of business in this state in awarding
   2-26  contracts under this section when the cost and quality of services
   2-27  being offered are equal.
    3-1        (i)  In this section, "disadvantaged business" means:
    3-2              (1)  a corporation formed for the purpose of making a
    3-3  profit in which at least 51 percent of all classes of the shares of
    3-4  stock or other equitable securities are owned by one or more
    3-5  persons who are socially disadvantaged because of their
    3-6  identification as members of certain groups, including black
    3-7  Americans, Hispanic Americans, women, Asian Pacific Americans, and
    3-8  Native Americans, who have suffered the effects of discriminatory
    3-9  practices or similar invidious circumstances over which they have
   3-10  no control;
   3-11              (2)  a sole proprietorship created for the purpose of
   3-12  making a profit that is 100 percent owned, operated, and controlled
   3-13  by a person described by Subdivision (1);
   3-14              (3)  a partnership formed for the purpose of making a
   3-15  profit in which at least 51 percent of the assets and interest in
   3-16  the partnership is owned by one or more persons described by
   3-17  Subdivision (1), only if those persons have a proportionate
   3-18  interest in the control, operation, and management of the
   3-19  partnership affairs; or
   3-20              (4)  a joint venture in which each entity in the joint
   3-21  venture is a business described by Subdivision (1), (2), or (3).
   3-22        SECTION 1.02.  Section 76.003, Human Resources Code, is
   3-23  amended by adding Subsection (g) to read as follows:
   3-24        (g)  To the extent possible, the attorney general shall
   3-25  enforce a child support obligation in a case involving a child who
   3-26  receives financial assistance under Chapter 31 not later than the
   3-27  first anniversary of the date the attorney general receives from
    4-1  the Texas Department of Human Services the information the
    4-2  department is required to provide to assist in the enforcement of
    4-3  that obligation.
    4-4        SECTION 1.03.  Sections 76.007(b)-(g), Human Resources Code,
    4-5  are amended to read as follows:
    4-6        (b)  <The attorney general may contract with private
    4-7  attorneys or political subdivisions of the state to represent this
    4-8  state or another state in an action brought under the authority of
    4-9  federal law and this chapter.>
   4-10        <(c)  The attorney general shall provide copies of all
   4-11  contracts entered into under this section to the Legislative Budget
   4-12  Board and the Governor's Office of Budget and Planning, along with
   4-13  a written justification of the need for each contract, within 60
   4-14  days after the execution of the contract.>
   4-15        <(d)>  An attorney employed by the attorney general or as
   4-16  otherwise provided by this chapter represents the interest of the
   4-17  state and not the interest of any other party.  The provision of
   4-18  services by an attorney under this chapter does not create an
   4-19  attorney-client relationship between the attorney and any other
   4-20  party.  The attorney general's office shall, at the time an
   4-21  application for child support services is made, inform the
   4-22  applicant that neither the attorney general's office nor any
   4-23  attorney who provides services under this chapter is the
   4-24  applicant's attorney and that the attorney providing services under
   4-25  this chapter does not provide legal representation to the
   4-26  applicant.
   4-27        (c) <(e)>  An attorney employed by the attorney general or as
    5-1  otherwise provided under this chapter may not be appointed or act
    5-2  as a guardian ad litem or attorney ad litem for a child or another
    5-3  party.
    5-4        (d) <(f)>  The provision of services by the attorney
    5-5  general's office under this chapter or Part D of Title IV of the
    5-6  federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C.  Section 651 et seq.) does
    5-7  not authorize service on the attorney general's office of any legal
    5-8  notice that is required to be served on any party other than the
    5-9  attorney general.
   5-10        (e) <(g)>  A court shall not disqualify the attorney general
   5-11  in a legal action brought under this chapter or Part D of Title IV
   5-12  of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Section 651 et seq.)
   5-13  on the basis that the attorney general has previously provided
   5-14  services to a party whose interests may now be adverse to the
   5-15  relief sought by the attorney general in providing services under
   5-16  this chapter.
   5-17        SECTION 1.04.  Sections 76.009(a) and (b), Human Resources
   5-18  Code, are amended to read as follows:
   5-19        (a)  In, or in connection with, a Title IV-D case brought by
   5-20  the attorney general or a private attorney or political subdivision
   5-21  that has entered into a contract under Section 76.0011(a)
   5-22  <76.007(b)>, the attorney general shall pay the following fees in a
   5-23  suit affecting the parent-child relationship under Title 2, Family
   5-24  Code, including a suit to establish paternity, a motion to enforce
   5-25  or modify a decree, or a notice of child support delinquency, or in
   5-26  a suit under Chapter 21, Family Code:
   5-27              (1)  filing fees and fees for issuance and service of
    6-1  process as provided by Sections 51.317, 51.318(b)(2), and
    6-2  51.319(4), Government Code, and Section 14.13, Family Code;
    6-3              (2)  fees for transfer as provided by Section 11.06(l)
    6-4  or Section 14.13, Family Code;
    6-5              (3)  fees for the issuance and delivery of orders and
    6-6  writs of income withholding in the amounts provided by Sections
    6-7  14.43 and 14.45(h), Family Code;
    6-8              (4)  a fee of $45 for each item of process to each
    6-9  individual on whom service is required, including service by
   6-10  certified or registered mail, to be paid to a sheriff, constable,
   6-11  or clerk whenever service of process is required; and
   6-12              (5)  mileage costs incurred by a sheriff or constable
   6-13  when traveling out of the county to execute an outstanding warrant
   6-14  or capias, to be reimbursed at a rate not to exceed the rate
   6-15  provided for mileage incurred by state employees in the General
   6-16  Appropriations Act.
   6-17        (b)  Except as provided by Subsections (a) and (d), a
   6-18  district or county clerk, sheriff, constable, or other government
   6-19  officer or employee may not charge the attorney general or a
   6-20  private attorney or political subdivision that has entered into a
   6-21  contract under Section 76.0011(a) <76.007(b)> any fees or other
   6-22  amounts otherwise imposed by law for services rendered in, or in
   6-23  connection with, a Title IV-D case, including:
   6-24              (1)  a fee payable to a district clerk under Sections
   6-25  51.319(1), (2), (3), and (5), Government Code;
   6-26              (2)  a court reporter fee under Section 51.601,
   6-27  Government Code, except as provided by Subsection (i) of this
    7-1  section;
    7-2              (3)  a judicial fund fee under Section 51.701,
    7-3  Government Code;
    7-4              (4)  a fee for a child support registry, enforcement
    7-5  office, or domestic relations office; and
    7-6              (5)  a fee for alternative dispute resolution services.
    7-7        SECTION 1.05.  Section 76.011, Human Resources Code, is
    7-8  amended by amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsections (i) and
    7-9  (j) to read as follows:
   7-10        (a)  The attorney general shall create and develop a
   7-11  voluntary Employer New Hire Reporting (ENHR) program in the child
   7-12  support enforcement division of the office of the attorney general.
   7-13  The ENHR program shall provide a means for employers to assist in
   7-14  the state's efforts to locate absent parents who owe child support
   7-15  and collect support from those parents by reporting information
   7-16  concerning newly hired and rehired employees directly to the child
   7-17  support enforcement program.  The attorney general shall encourage
   7-18  use of the ENHR program by simplifying employer reporting
   7-19  requirements.
   7-20        (i)  An employer participating in the ENHR program is
   7-21  strongly encouraged to report to the attorney general information
   7-22  about health insurance coverage available through the employer in
   7-23  which a dependent child may be enrolled under Section 14.061,
   7-24  Family Code.
   7-25        (j)  To expand the ENHR program, the office of the attorney
   7-26  general shall work closely with the Texas Employment Commission,
   7-27  the Texas Workers' Compensation Commission, the comptroller, the
    8-1  Texas Department of Commerce, the secretary of state, and employer
    8-2  groups.  Efforts to expand the program shall include:
    8-3              (1)  regularly sending to employers solicitations for
    8-4  participation in the program and promotional information about the
    8-5  program that includes information on:
    8-6                    (A)  the program's impact on child support and
    8-7  medical support enforcement;
    8-8                    (B)  savings in public assistance payments
    8-9  attributable to the program;
   8-10                    (C)  participation requirements; and
   8-11                    (D)  awards available for business participation;
   8-12  and
   8-13              (2)  developing a public awareness program that:
   8-14                    (A)  stresses the importance of securing
   8-15  financial support for all children; and
   8-16                    (B)  informs the public about the ENHR program.
   8-17        SECTION 1.06.  Chapter 76, Human Resources Code, is amended
   8-18  by adding Section 76.012 to read as follows:
   8-20  FOR CHILDREN RECEIVING  AFDC BENEFITS.  (a)  The attorney general
   8-21  and the Texas  Department of Human Services by rule shall adopt a
   8-22  memorandum of understanding governing the establishment and
   8-23  enforcement of court-ordered child support in cases involving
   8-24  children who receive financial assistance under Chapter 31.  The
   8-25  memorandum shall require the attorney general and the department
   8-26  to:
   8-27              (1)  develop procedures to ensure that the information
    9-1  the department is required to collect to establish and enforce
    9-2  child support:
    9-3                    (A)  is collected from the person applying to
    9-4  receive the financial assistance at the time the application is
    9-5  filed;
    9-6                    (B)  is accurate and complete when the department
    9-7  forwards the information to the attorney general; and
    9-8                    (C)  is not information previously reported to
    9-9  the attorney general;
   9-10              (2)  develop procedures to ensure that the attorney
   9-11  general does not duplicate the efforts of the department in
   9-12  gathering necessary information;
   9-13              (3)  clarify each agency's responsibilities in the
   9-14  establishment and enforcement of child support; and
   9-15              (4)  develop guidelines for use by eligibility workers
   9-16  and child support enforcement officers in obtaining from an
   9-17  applicant the information required  to establish and enforce child
   9-18  support for that child.
   9-19        (b)  The attorney general and the Texas Department of Human
   9-20  Services semiannually shall review and renew or modify the
   9-21  memorandum as necessary.
   9-23                          SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS
   9-24        SECTION 2.01.  Section  11.03(i), Family Code, is amended to
   9-25  read as follows:
   9-26        (i)  In providing services authorized by Chapter 76, Human
   9-27  Resources Code, the attorney general or a private attorney, other
   10-1  private entity, or political subdivision contracting with the
   10-2  attorney general under Section 76.0011(a), Human Resources Code,
   10-3  may bring any child support action authorized under Title 2 <of
   10-4  this code>, including an action to modify a court support order and
   10-5  an action to enforce a court support order.
   10-6        SECTION 2.02.  Section 11.181(a), Family Code, is amended to
   10-7  read as follows:
   10-8        (a)  At the conclusion of a Title IV-D case, the court may
   10-9  assess attorney fees and all court costs as authorized by law
  10-10  against the nonprevailing party, except that the court may not
  10-11  assess those amounts against the attorney general or a private
  10-12  attorney or political subdivision that has entered into a contract
  10-13  under Section 76.0011(a) <76.007(b)>, Human Resources Code, or any
  10-14  party to whom the attorney general has provided services under this
  10-15  chapter.  Such fees and costs shall not exceed reasonable and
  10-16  necessary costs as determined by the court.
  10-17        SECTION 2.03.   Subchapter A, Chapter 14, Family Code, is
  10-18  amended by adding Section 14.0611 to read as follows:
  10-20  COLLECTION BY ATTORNEY GENERAL.   (a)  On the installation of an
  10-21  automated child support enforcement system, the office of the
  10-22  attorney general is strongly encouraged to:
  10-23              (1)  maximize the collection of medical support; and
  10-24              (2)  establish cash medical support orders for children
  10-25  eligible for medical assistance under the state Medicaid program
  10-26  for whom private insurance coverage is not available.
  10-27        (b)  In this section, "medical support" has the meaning
   11-1  assigned by Section 14.80.
   11-2        SECTION 2.04.  Section 14.80(7), Family Code, is amended to
   11-3  read as follows:
   11-4              (7)  "Child support review officer" means an individual
   11-5  designated and trained by a child support agency to conduct reviews
   11-6  under this subchapter <who has received certified family law
   11-7  mediation training>.
   11-8        SECTION 2.05.  Section 14.802, Family Code, is amended to
   11-9  read as follows:
  11-10        Sec. 14.802.  CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW PROCESS:  GENERAL
  11-11  PROVISIONS.  (a)  The purpose of the child support review process
  11-12  authorized under this subchapter is to provide child support
  11-13  agencies an opportunity to resolve routine child support actions
  11-14  through <negotiations and by> the agreement of the parties or
  11-15  through agreeing to uncontested orders.
  11-16        (b)  To the extent permitted by this subchapter, child
  11-17  support agencies shall make the child support review process
  11-18  understandable to all parties and shall encourage agreements
  11-19  <through mediation>.
  11-20        <(b)  An administrative action under this subchapter may be
  11-21  initiated by the issuance of a notice of child support review under
  11-22  Section 14.803 of this code by a child support agency.>
  11-23        (c)  In a child support review under this subchapter, a child
  11-24  support agency may issue an administrative subpoena to <a parent, a
  11-25  person presumed or alleged to be the father of a child for whom
  11-26  support is sought, or> any individual or organization believed to
  11-27  have information on the financial resources of a <the> parent or
   12-1  presumed or alleged father.  A court may compel compliance with an
   12-2  administrative subpoena and award attorney's fees and costs to a
   12-3  child support agency enforcing an administrative subpoena on proof
   12-4  that an individual or organization failed to comply with the
   12-5  subpoena without good cause.
   12-6        (d)  A child support agency may use any information obtained
   12-7  by the agency from the parties or from any other source and shall
   12-8  apply the child support guidelines in this chapter to <To>
   12-9  determine the appropriate amount of child support<, in applying the
  12-10  child support guidelines in this code, a child support agency shall
  12-11  use any information obtained by the child support agency through a
  12-12  notice of child support review or any other source>.  If the child
  12-13  support agency determines that the support amount in an existing
  12-14  child support order is not in substantial compliance with the
  12-15  guidelines, the child support agency shall issue an appropriate
  12-16  child support review order, including a review order that<,
  12-17  notwithstanding Section 14.08 of this code,> has the effect of
  12-18  modifying an existing order for child support without the necessity
  12-19  of filing a motion to modify.
  12-20        (e)  A notice required in an administrative action under this
  12-21  subchapter must be delivered or served by first class mail or
  12-22  certified mail on each party entitled to citation or notice as
  12-23  provided under Section 11.09 of this code.  This subsection only
  12-24  applies to the administrative process and does not apply to the
  12-25  notice required to be served on the filing of a child support
  12-26  review order or to a subsequent judicial proceeding.
  12-27        (f)  <If notice is served by mail in an administrative action
   13-1  under this subchapter, three days must be added to both the time in
   13-2  which the person is required to respond and the time by which the
   13-3  person is entitled to notification of a hearing.>
   13-4        <(g)>  A notice or other form used to implement the child
   13-5  support review process shall <must> be printed in both Spanish and
   13-6  English.  If a party participating in a negotiation conference
   13-7  <under Section 14.804 of this code> does not speak English or is
   13-8  hearing impaired, the child support agency shall provide for
   13-9  interpreter services at no charge to the parties.
  13-10        (g)  The attorney general shall conduct a study to determine
  13-11  and compare the cost of child support enforcement through use of
  13-12  the child support review process authorized by this subchapter and
  13-13  the cost of child support enforcement by the attorney general
  13-14  through use of other enforcement mechanisms available under this
  13-15  chapter.  The attorney general shall report the results of this
  13-16  study to the governor and the legislature not later than September
  13-17  1, 1996, and shall include in the report recommendations regarding
  13-18  statutory amendments for improving judicial and administrative
  13-19  processes for child support enforcement.  This subsection expires
  13-20  September 2, 1996.
  13-21        SECTION 2.06.  Section 14.803, Family Code, is amended to
  13-22  read as follows:
  13-24  FINANCIAL RESOURCES.  (a)  A child support agency may initiate an
  13-25  administrative action under this subchapter by issuing a notice of
  13-26  child support review to each party entitled to notice <and assess
  13-27  the financial resources of the child's parents or of a person
   14-1  presumed or alleged to be the child's father from whom child
   14-2  support is sought to determine the resources that are available for
   14-3  the support of the child and to determine what action is
   14-4  appropriate.  The child support agency shall notify the parents of
   14-5  a child and the presumed or alleged father of a child of a child
   14-6  support review by delivering to the person a notice of child
   14-7  support review>.
   14-8        (b)  The notice of child support review must:
   14-9              (1)  describe the procedure for a child support review;
  14-10              (2)  inform the recipient that the recipient <is not
  14-11  required to participate in the child support review and> may be
  14-12  represented by legal counsel during the review process or at a
  14-13  court hearing;
  14-14              (3)  inform the recipient that the recipient may refuse
  14-15  to participate or cease participation in the child support review
  14-16  process, but that the refusal by the recipient to participate will
  14-17  not prevent the completion of the process or the filing of a child
  14-18  support review order <during any stage of the review but that the
  14-19  review will continue to completion and that afterward the recipient
  14-20  may request a court hearing>;
  14-21              (4)  include an affidavit of financial resources; <and>
  14-22              (5)  include a request that the recipient designate, on
  14-23  a form provided by the child support agency, an address for mailing
  14-24  any additional notice to the recipient; and
  14-25              (6)  inform the recipient that<.>
  14-26        <(c)  In addition to the information required by Subsection
  14-27  (b) of this section, the notice of child support review must inform
   15-1  the recipient that:>
   15-2              <(1)  the information requested on the form must be
   15-3  returned to the child support agency not later than the 15th day
   15-4  after the date the notice is received or delivered; and>
   15-5              <(2)>  if the requested information is not returned
   15-6  before the 15th day after the date notice is received <as
   15-7  required>, the child support agency may:
   15-8                    (A)  <may> proceed with the review using the
   15-9  information that is available to the agency; and
  15-10                    (B)  <may> file a legal action without further
  15-11  notice to the recipient, except as otherwise required by law.
  15-12        SECTION 2.07.  Section 14.804, Family Code, is amended to
  15-13  read as follows:
  15-14        Sec. 14.804.  NEGOTIATION CONFERENCE.  (a)  The child support
  15-15  agency shall schedule a negotiation conference on the timely
  15-16  request made by a party <A person who receives a notice of child
  15-17  support review and who completes an affidavit of financial
  15-18  resources may request, at the time the affidavit of financial
  15-19  resources is returned, a negotiation conference in an effort to
  15-20  reach an agreement>.  The child support agency may schedule a
  15-21  negotiation conference without a request from a <regard to whether
  15-22  a conference is requested by any> party.  A negotiation conference,
  15-23  or any part of a negotiation conference, may be conducted by
  15-24  telephone conference call or by video conference as well as in
  15-25  person.  The negotiation conference may be adjourned for a
  15-26  reasonable time to permit mediation of issues that cannot be
  15-27  resolved by the parties and the child support agency.
   16-1        (b)  <A negotiation conference under this section shall be
   16-2  held not later than the 45th day after the date all notices of
   16-3  child support review have been sent to the parties to the action.>
   16-4        <(c)>  All parties entitled to notice of the negotiation
   16-5  conference shall be notified of the date, time, and place of the
   16-6  negotiation conference not later than the 10th day before the date
   16-7  of the negotiation conference.
   16-8        (c) <(d)>  A negotiation conference may be rescheduled or
   16-9  adjourned on the request of any party, at the discretion of the
  16-10  child support review officer, and all parties must be given timely
  16-11  notice of the rescheduling.  <All parties shall be sent notice not
  16-12  later than the third day before the date of the rescheduled
  16-13  negotiation conference.>
  16-14        (d) <(e)>  At the beginning of the negotiation conference,
  16-15  the child support review officer shall review with the <inform all>
  16-16  parties participating in the conference information provided in the
  16-17  notice of child support review and inform the parties <in
  16-18  attendance> that:
  16-19              (1)  the purpose of the negotiation conference is to
  16-20  provide an opportunity <attempt> to reach an agreement on a
  16-21  <regarding> child support order <payments>;
  16-22              (2)  <a party does not have to participate in the
  16-23  negotiation conference and may request a court hearing;>
  16-24              <(3)  a party may be represented by an attorney chosen
  16-25  by the party;>
  16-26              <(4)  the parties may stop participating in the
  16-27  negotiation conference at any time but that the child support
   17-1  review will continue until completed, and, if a child support
   17-2  review order is issued, a party may request a court hearing;>
   17-3              <(5)>  if the parties reach an agreement, the review
   17-4  officer will prepare an agreed review order <for the parties'
   17-5  signatures>;
   17-6              (3) <(6)>  a party does not have to sign a review order
   17-7  prepared by the child support review officer; and
   17-8              (4)  if a child support review order is issued, <(7)
   17-9  even though> a party <signs an agreed review order, the party> may
  17-10  request a court hearing at any time before the 20th day after the
  17-11  date a petition for confirmation of the order is filed <the child
  17-12  support review order is confirmed by a court>.
  17-13        (e) <(f)>  For the purposes of this subchapter, documentary
  17-14  evidence relied on by the child support review officer, including
  17-15  an <a written> affidavit of a party, together with<, the written
  17-16  findings, and> the child support review order is <from a
  17-17  negotiation conference are> a sufficient record of the proceedings.
  17-18  A child support agency is not required to make any other record or
  17-19  transcript of a <the> negotiation conference.
  17-20        (f) <(g)>  If a negotiation conference results in an
  17-21  agreement <by all parties>, the <a> child support review order must
  17-22  be signed by each party who agrees to the order, must contain the
  17-23  provisions required by Section 14.805, <all parties to the action>
  17-24  and, as to each party in agreement with the order, must contain:
  17-25              (1)  a waiver by the <each> party of the right to
  17-26  service <and> of process, <the right to> a <court> hearing, and the
  17-27  making of a record on the petition for confirmation;
   18-1              (2)  the mailing address of the <each> party; and
   18-2              (3)  the following statement printed on the order in
   18-3  boldfaced type or in all capital letters:
  18-20        COURT."
  18-21        (g) <(h)>  If the negotiation conference does not result in
  18-22  agreement by all parties to the <an agreed> child support review
  18-23  order, the review officer shall promptly issue and sign a final
  18-24  decision in the form of a child support review order or a
  18-25  determination that <not later than the fifth day after the date of
  18-26  the negotiation conference unless the review officer provides
  18-27  specific reasons why> a child support review order should not
   19-1  <cannot> be issued.
   19-2        (h)  If <(i)  On the day that a child support review order is
   19-3  issued or if> a determination is made that a child support order
   19-4  will not be issued, each party to a child support review proceeding
   19-5  shall be furnished immediately by hand delivery or by mail <a copy
   19-6  of the order or the> notice of the <a> determination that an order
   19-7  will not be issued.
   19-8        (i) <(j)>  A determination <finding by the review officer>
   19-9  that a child support review order should <is> not be issued must
  19-10  include a statement of the reasons why an order is not being
  19-11  issued.  The determination <appropriate> does not affect the right
  19-12  of the child support agency or a <any other> party to seek any
  19-13  other remedy <proceed in any matter> provided by law.
  19-14        (j) <(k)>  The review officer may vacate a child support
  19-15  review order on the officer's own motion at any time before the
  19-16  order is filed with the court.  A new negotiation conference, with
  19-17  notice to all parties, may <shall> be scheduled or the officer may
  19-18  make a determination that a child support review order should not
  19-19  be issued and give notice of that determination as provided by this
  19-20  subchapter <to take place not later than the 10th day after the
  19-21  date the child support review order was vacated>.
  19-22        SECTION 2.08.  Section 14.805, Family Code, is amended to
  19-23  read as follows:
  19-24        Sec. 14.805.  CONTENTS OF CHILD SUPPORT REVIEW ORDER.  A
  19-25  child support review order <under this subchapter> must contain all
  19-26  provisions that are appropriate for an order under this title,
  19-27  including<.  A child support review order may contain other>
   20-1  provisions for the establishment, modification, or enforcement of a
   20-2  child support or medical support order, <and> for the establishment
   20-3  of paternity, and for a determination of arrearages or retroactive
   20-4  support.  A child support review order that establishes or modifies
   20-5  an amount of previously ordered support must include the findings
   20-6  required by Section 14.057.  A child support review order that is
   20-7  not agreed to by all the parties may specify and reserve for the
   20-8  court at the confirmation hearing unresolved issues relating to
   20-9  conservatorship or possession of a child.  A child support review
  20-10  order <providing for the enforcement of an order> may not contain a
  20-11  provision that imposes incarceration or a fine or contains a
  20-12  finding of contempt.
  20-13        SECTION 2.09.  Section 14.806, Family Code, is amended to
  20-14  read as follows:
  20-16  REVIEW ORDER; DUTIES OF CLERK OF COURT.  (a)  The child support
  20-17  agency shall file a petition for <of> confirmation with the clerk
  20-18  of the court having continuing jurisdiction of the child who is the
  20-19  subject of the order.  If there is not a court of <that has>
  20-20  continuing jurisdiction, the child support agency shall file the
  20-21  petition for confirmation with the clerk of a court having
  20-22  jurisdiction under this title.
  20-23        (b)  The petitioner <A petition> for confirmation shall
  20-24  <must> include the final child support review order as an
  20-25  attachment <and a form for a party to request a court hearing as
  20-26  attachments> to the petition.  Each affidavit of financial
  20-27  resources provided by <for> a party <to the order that was
   21-1  completed by the party> and any other documentary evidence relied
   21-2  on by the child support agency, including, if applicable, <a
   21-3  verified written report of a paternity testing expert concerning
   21-4  the results of paternity testing conducted in the case or> a
   21-5  statement of paternity or a written report of a paternity testing
   21-6  expert, shall be filed with the clerk as exhibits to the petition,
   21-7  but are not required to be served on the parties.  The petition
   21-8  must identify the exhibits that are filed with the clerk.
   21-9        (c)  On the filing of a petition for confirmation <under this
  21-10  section>, the clerk of court shall endorse on the petition the date
  21-11  and time that the petition is filed <and sign the endorsement>.  If
  21-12  the petition is for an original action, the clerk shall endorse the
  21-13  appropriate court and cause number on the petition.  If the
  21-14  petition is to confirm an agreed child support review order under
  21-15  this subchapter, the child support agency <clerk> shall mail to
  21-16  each party that agreed to the order, at the address shown on the
  21-17  order, a copy of the petition with <and written notice of the
  21-18  filing of the petition that states> the court, date of filing, and
  21-19  cause number of the case.  The child support agency shall file a
  21-20  certificate of service showing the date of the mailing to each
  21-21  party <clerk shall note on the docket that the notice was mailed>.
  21-22  The <If the petition is to confirm an order other than an agreed
  21-23  order, the> clerk shall issue service of citation, including a copy
  21-24  of the petition and the child support review order, to each party
  21-25  entitled to service who has not waived service.
  21-26        (d)  A clerk of a district court is entitled to collect a fee
  21-27  for:
   22-1              (1)  the filing of a petition under this section as
   22-2  provided by Section 51.317(b)(1), Government Code;
   22-3              (2)  the issuance of notice or process as provided by
   22-4  Section 51.317(b)(4), Government Code; and
   22-5              (3)  service of process <notice or citation> as
   22-6  provided by Section 51.319(4), Government Code, or as otherwise
   22-7  provided by law.
   22-8        (e)  The <In addition to attaching a copy of a form to
   22-9  request a court hearing to a party's copy of the petition for
  22-10  confirmation of a child support review order, the> child support
  22-11  agency shall make available to the clerk of court and to a party to
  22-12  the child support review proceeding on the party's request a form
  22-13  to request a court hearing.  The clerk shall furnish the form to a
  22-14  party to a proceeding under this section on the request of the
  22-15  party.  A court shall consider any responsive pleading <filed under
  22-16  this section> that is intended as an objection to confirmation of a
  22-17  child support review order, including a general denial, as a
  22-18  request for a court hearing.
  22-19        SECTION 2.10.  Section 14.807, Family Code, is amended to
  22-20  read as follows:
  22-22  (a)  <The court shall refer a proceeding that results from a child
  22-23  support review to a master appointed under this subchapter.  If a
  22-24  master is not appointed, the judge of the court shall preside over
  22-25  the proceedings.>
  22-26        <(b)>  Not later than the 30th day after the date a petition
  22-27  for confirmation of a <an agreed> child support review order that
   23-1  includes waivers by all parties is filed, the court shall confirm
   23-2  the terms and provisions of the order by signing a confirmation
   23-3  order unless a request for a court hearing is timely filed <or the
   23-4  court sets a hearing as provided by Subsection (d) of this
   23-5  section>.
   23-6        (b) <(c)>  Not later than the 30th day after the date of
   23-7  service on the last party to be served with citation of a petition
   23-8  for confirmation for a child support review order that does not
   23-9  include waivers by all parties <other than an agreed child support
  23-10  review order>, the court shall confirm the terms and provisions of
  23-11  the order by signing a confirmation order unless a request for a
  23-12  court hearing is timely filed <or the court sets a hearing as
  23-13  provided by Subsection (d) of this section>.
  23-14        (c) <(d)  If the court finds that confirmation of a child
  23-15  support review order without a hearing would not be in the best
  23-16  interests of a child who is the subject of the order, the court may
  23-17  stay confirmation of the order and schedule a hearing.  The order
  23-18  setting the hearing on the confirmation of the order must state the
  23-19  court's specific reasons for conducting the hearing.>
  23-20        <(e)>  A party may file a request for a court hearing not
  23-21  later than the 20th day after the date the petition for
  23-22  confirmation of a child support review order is served or mailed as
  23-23  provided by this subchapter <an agreed administrative order is
  23-24  filed or not later than the Monday following the 20th day after the
  23-25  date the party received service of citation in a case involving the
  23-26  confirmation of any other type of order>.
  23-27        (d)  A party that <(f)  On the> timely files <filing of> a
   24-1  request for a court hearing<, all issues in the child support
   24-2  review order> shall receive <be heard in> a de novo hearing before
   24-3  the court.  The petition for confirmation and the child support
   24-4  review order constitute a sufficient pleading by the child support
   24-5  agency <for relief on any issue addressed in the petition and
   24-6  order>.  The request for hearing may limit the scope of the de novo
   24-7  hearing by specifying the issues that are in dispute.
   24-8        (e) <(g)>  A court shall hold a hearing on the confirmation
   24-9  of a child support review order not later than the 30th day after
  24-10  the date the last <court determines that a hearing should be held
  24-11  or a> party to be served files a timely request for a court
  24-12  hearing.
  24-13        (f) <(h)>  After the hearing on the confirmation of a child
  24-14  support review order, the court shall:
  24-15              (1)  if the court finds that the order should be
  24-16  confirmed, immediately sign a confirmation order and enter the
  24-17  order as an order of the court;
  24-18              (2)  if the court finds that the relief granted in the
  24-19  child support review order is inappropriate, sign an appropriate
  24-20  order at the conclusion of the hearing or as soon after the
  24-21  conclusion of the hearing as is practical and enter the order as an
  24-22  order of the court; or
  24-23              (3)  if the court finds that all relief should be
  24-24  denied, enter an order that denies relief and includes specific
  24-25  findings explaining the reasons that relief is denied.
  24-26        (g) <(i)>  On the signing of a confirmation order by the
  24-27  judge of the court, the child support review order becomes a final
   25-1  order <judgment> of the court.
   25-2        SECTION 2.11.  Section 14.808, Family Code, is amended to
   25-3  read as follows:
   25-6  parentage <paternity> of a child has not been established <by court
   25-7  order>, the notice of child support review served on the parties
   25-8  must include an allegation that the recipient <alleged father> is a
   25-9  <the> biological parent <father> of the child.  The notice shall
  25-10  inform the parties that the alleged father of the child may sign a
  25-11  statement of paternity and that any party may request that
  25-12  scientifically accepted parentage <paternity> testing be conducted
  25-13  to assist in determining the identities of <whether the alleged
  25-14  father is> the child's parents <father>.
  25-15        (b)  A negotiation conference shall be conducted to resolve
  25-16  any issues of support in an action in which all parties agree as to
  25-17  <that the alleged father is> the child's parentage <biological
  25-18  father>.
  25-19        (c)  If a party denies parentage <that the alleged father is
  25-20  the child's biological father or, in the case of a presumed father,
  25-21  if either party files a verified denial of paternity>, the child
  25-22  support agency may schedule parentage <paternity> testing.  If
  25-23  either party fails or refuses to participate in administrative
  25-24  parentage testing, the child support agency may file a child
  25-25  support review order with a request for court-ordered parentage
  25-26  testing.  The court shall follow the procedures and may impose the
  25-27  sanctions provided by Chapter 13 to obtain compliance with the
   26-1  parentage testing order.  The court shall confirm the child support
   26-2  review order as a temporary or final order of the court only after
   26-3  an opportunity for parentage testing has been provided.
   26-4        (d)  If parentage <paternity> testing does not exclude the
   26-5  alleged parent and <father from being the child's father and a
   26-6  party continues to deny that the alleged father is the child's
   26-7  biological father, the child support agency may schedule a
   26-8  negotiation conference as provided by this subchapter.  If> the
   26-9  results of a verified written report of a parentage <paternity>
  26-10  testing expert meet the requirements of Section 13.04 of this code
  26-11  for issuing a temporary order, the child support agency may issue a
  26-12  child support review order.
  26-13        (e)  If the results of parentage <paternity> testing exclude
  26-14  an <the> alleged parent <or presumed father> from being the
  26-15  biological parent <father> of the child, the child support agency
  26-16  shall issue a child support review order that declares that the
  26-17  excluded person <alleged or presumed father> is not a parent <the
  26-18  father> of the child.  Any party may file a petition for
  26-19  confirmation of a child support review order issued under this
  26-20  subsection.
  26-23  (a)  The governor, in cooperation with the attorney general, shall
  26-24  establish a working group to develop strategies to:
  26-25              (1)  maximize federal assistance for county-based child
  26-26  support collection efforts;
  26-27              (2)  reduce the state's child support enforcement
   27-1  caseload relating to individuals who do not receive Aid to Families
   27-2  with Dependent Children; and
   27-3              (3)  replace the existing state child support
   27-4  enforcement application system with an automatic enforcement system
   27-5  that does not require an applicant to file a complaint.
   27-6        (b)  The working group shall include county, state, and
   27-7  federal officials involved in child support collections and
   27-8  enforcement.
   27-9        (c)  The office of the attorney general shall coordinate the
  27-10  activities of the working group.
  27-11        (d)  The working group established by this Act shall report
  27-12  its findings and recommendations to the governor, the attorney
  27-13  general, and the legislature not later than September 1, 1996.
  27-15  ASSISTANCE.  (a)  The attorney general and the Texas Department of
  27-16  Health shall negotiate an agreement regarding the payment by the
  27-17  department of a cash incentive to the office of the attorney
  27-18  general for each child eligible for medical assistance under the
  27-19  state Medicaid program that the office of the attorney general
  27-20  causes to be enrolled in a private health insurance plan.
  27-21        (b)  The attorney general and the Texas Department of Health
  27-22  shall report to the legislature the results of negotiations
  27-23  conducted under this section not later than October 1, 1996.
  27-25  The legislature shall initiate a study regarding:
  27-26              (1)  establishment of a health insurance purchasing
  27-27  alliance to purchase insurance coverage for children for whom a
   28-1  child support obligation is established or enforced under Title IV
   28-2  of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Section 651 et seq.);
   28-3  and
   28-4              (2)  legislative action necessary to conform state law
   28-5  to the requirements of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of
   28-6  1993 (Pub.L. No. 103-66) relating to medical support.
   28-7        (b)  Not later than October 1, 1996, the legislature shall
   28-8  prepare a report summarizing the results of the study required by
   28-9  this section and shall deliver the report to the:
  28-10              (1)  governor;
  28-11              (2)  lieutenant governor;
  28-12              (3)  speaker of the house of representatives;
  28-13              (4)  attorney general; and
  28-14              (5)  commissioner of health and human services.
  28-15        (c)  In this section, "medical support" has the meaning
  28-16  assigned by Section 14.80, Family Code.
  28-18        SECTION 4.01.  This Act takes effect September 1, 1995.
  28-19        SECTION 4.02.  Not later than December 1, 1996, the attorney
  28-20  general shall report to the legislature an estimate of the cost
  28-21  savings to the state resulting from the expansion of the
  28-22  privatization of child support enforcement services.
  28-23        SECTION 4.03.  (a)  The office of the attorney general, in
  28-24  conjunction with the Texas Department of Human Services, shall
  28-25  develop and implement a plan to assign one or more child support
  28-26  enforcement officers to work with department eligibility workers in
  28-27  department offices or facilities that are located in the same
   29-1  geographic region as offices or facilities of  the  attorney
   29-2  general.  The plan shall:
   29-3              (1)  include a schedule for implementation; and
   29-4              (2)  provide that the office of the attorney general
   29-5  may make a work assignment under this subsection only if the
   29-6  anticipated increased collection of child support for public
   29-7  assistance cases is greater than the cost of placing an enforcement
   29-8  officer in a department office or facility.
   29-9        (b)  Not later than October 1, 1995, the attorney general
  29-10  shall complete the plan required by this section and send a copy of
  29-11  the completed plan to the governor, the lieutenant governor, and
  29-12  the speaker of  the house of representatives.
  29-13        (c)  The attorney general and the Texas Department of Human
  29-14  Services shall prepare the initial memorandum of understanding
  29-15  required by Section 76.012, Human Resources Code, as added by this
  29-16  Act, not later than December 1, 1995.
  29-17        SECTION 4.04.  The change in law made to Subchapter D,
  29-18  Chapter 14, Family Code, as amended by this Act, applies only to a
  29-19  child support review for which notice is given on or after the
  29-20  effective date of this Act.  A child support review for which
  29-21  notice is given before that date is governed by the law in effect
  29-22  at the time notice was given, and the former law is continued in
  29-23  effect for that purpose.
  29-24        SECTION 4.05.  (a)  Section 3.01 of this Act expires on
  29-25  September 2, 1996.
  29-26        (b)  Sections 3.02 and 3.03 of this Act expire January 1,
  29-27  1997.
   30-1        SECTION 4.06.  The importance of this legislation and the
   30-2  crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
   30-3  emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
   30-4  constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
   30-5  days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.