Austin, Texas

                           FISCAL NOTE
                       74th Regular Session

                           May 3, 1995

 TO:     Honorable Don Henderson, Chair         IN RE: Committee Substitute
         Committee on Jurisprudence             for
         Senate                                                Senate Bill
         Austin, Texas                          No. 793
                                                        By: Harris

FROM: John Keel, Director

In response to your request for a Fiscal Note on Senate Bill No.
793 (relating to the enforcement of certain child support and
medical support obligations) this office has determined the

The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal
basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions
of the bill.

The bill would amend the Human Resources Code to direct the
Office of the Attorney General  (AG) to establish a unified
registry and enforcement system for child support and medical
support enforcement in coordination with the Texas Judicial
Council, the Office of Court Administration, and federal, state,
and local officials.  The system would allow counties to
voluntarily become part of the Title IV-D child support system,
using existing or new county expenditures for child support
enforcement.  The new system would include a child support
registry and an automated enforcement process.  The AG would be
directed to convene a work group to develop a timetable for
implementation of the registry.  As a condition of participation,
counties electing to participate would have to contract with the
AG to comply with relevant federal law.  Implementation would be
contingent on receipt of local funds and federal reimbursements.

The bill would require the AG to establish support obligations in    

child support cases involving children receiving Aid to Families
with Dependent Children (AFDC) within one year to the extent
possible.  Other private entities, along with private attorneys 
and political subdivisions, would be allowed to provide services
in Title IV-D cases.  The bill would remove language relating to
reimbursements for sheriffs or constables traveling out of county
to execute an outstanding warrant or capias and would allow the
AG to pay for reasonable travel costs for sheriffs or constables
traveling out of county.

The bill would expand and simplify the voluntary Employer New
Hire Reporting (ENHR) program to include the development of an
automated reporting system to be shared by the Department of
Human Services, the Workers' Compensation Commission, and the
Texas Employment Commission, to increase child and medical
support and decrease fraud.  Employers would be encouraged to
report information, and cooperation with several state agencies
would be required. Information for distribution of promotional
literature is detailed.  The bill would require the AG and the
Department of Human Services (DHS) to improve information
collection in the AFDC and Child Support programs.  The agencies
would be required to adopt a memorandum of understanding relating
to establishing child support for children eligible for AFDC, and
requiring the AG and DHS to develop procedures to obtain
information from eligibility workers.  Political subdivisions
would be allowed to perform certain child support functions.

The bill would encourage the Attorney General to maximize the
collection of medical support and establish cash medical support
orders for children eligible for medical assistance under the
state Medicaid program, who are not covered by private insurance. 
The bill would change general provisions related to child support
review and would allow courts to compel compliance with an
administrative subpoena issued by the agency.  The review would
be redefined as a process to resolve routine child support issues
by agreement rather than by a negotiation process.  The bill
would include a new process for parentage testing.  A study would
be required of the comparative advantages of the child support
review process versus other enforcement techniques.  The Texas
Judicial Council would be required to implement a monthly
tracking system to gather information on child and medical
support, and district and county clerks would be required to
report information.

The bill would require the AG to create an interagency working
group on child support enforcement and would require a report to
the Governor, Comptroller of Public Accounts, and the Legislature
not later than September 1, 1996, relating to progress toward
implementation of the integrated child support system.  DHS 
would be required to pay a cash incentive to the AG for Medicaid
cases enrolled in medical insurance by AG enforcement action, and
a report to the Legislature would be required not later October
1, 1996.  A study on the feasibility of a health purchasing
alliance by the AG, the state Medicaid administrator, and the    

Insurance Commission would be required to be prepared by October
1, 1996.  The AG would be strongly encouraged to expand the cost-
effective use of private contractors and would be directed  to
perform a cost analysis such as the one used by the Council on
Competitive Government.

The bill would require the AG to produce a report on costs and
savings associated with the expansion of privatization of child
support enforcement by December 1, 1996.  The AG and DHS would be
required to develop and implement a plan to have child support
officers work with DHS eligibility workers.

The bill would also add several sections to the Insurance Code
and amend various provisions in the Family Code which are at
variance with federal regulations.

The Office of Attorney General has identified 77 Full Time
Equivalent Employees and a biennial cost of $6,699,656 to
implement the provisions of the bill.   The amounts indicated
below are based on Comptroller of Public Accounts estimates and
do not include Office of the Attorney General costs as a
requirement of implementation.

The probable fiscal implication of implementing the provisions of
the bill during each of the first  five years following passage
is estimated as follows:

            Fiscal   Probable Revenue   Probable Revenue   Probable Cost Out 
             Year   Gain to   General    Gain to  Child    of  Child Support 
                         Revenue        Support Retained       Retained      
                         Fund 001         Collections         Collections    
                                          Account 787         Account 787    
          1996              $4,100,000           $994,000             $48,000
          1997               4,600,000          3,288,000              96,000
          1998               5,000,000          3,388,000              96,000
          1999               5,500,000          3,588,000              96,000
          2000               6,100,000          3,788,000              96,000
       Similar annual fiscal implications would continue as long as the
provisions of the bill are in effect.

The fiscal implication to units of local government cannot be

Source:   Office of the Attorney General, Comptroller of Public
          LBB Staff: JK, JC, RR