By: Zaffirini, Nelson, Ellis S.B. No. 273 Haywood A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT 1-1 relating to development of a statewide consumer guide for senior 1-2 citizens. 1-3 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: 1-4 SECTION 1. Subchapter B, Chapter 403, Government Code, is 1-5 amended by adding Section 403.026 to read as follows: 1-6 Sec. 403.026. SENIOR CITIZEN CONSUMER GUIDE; INTERAGENCY 1-7 WORK GROUP. (a) The comptroller shall develop and annually update 1-8 a statewide consumer guide for senior citizens designed to assist 1-9 senior citizens and their families in making informed choices 1-10 regarding available senior services. The guide must: 1-11 (1) contain a directory of service providers for 1-12 senior citizens in a format developed by the interagency work group 1-13 created under Subsection (b) and arranged by geographical area if 1-14 appropriate; 1-15 (2) contain comprehensive information on services 1-16 available to senior citizens, including long-term care services, 1-17 housing assistance, meals, personal care, and transportation; 1-18 (3) enable a senior citizen or a person assisting a 1-19 senior citizen to identify and assess each option available for 1-20 meeting a senior citizen's individual needs; and 1-21 (4) prominently display: 1-22 (A) the regional toll-free access number of the 1-23 appropriate area agency on aging; and 2-1 (B) the toll-free number of the Texas Department 2-2 on Aging. 2-3 (b) An interagency work group is created to assist the 2-4 comptroller in developing and updating the guide. The work group 2-5 is composed of representatives from: 2-6 (1) the comptroller's office, appointed by the 2-7 comptroller; 2-8 (2) the Texas Department on Aging, appointed by the 2-9 executive director of that agency; 2-10 (3) the Texas Department of Human Services, appointed 2-11 by the commissioner of human services; 2-12 (4) the Texas Department of Housing and Community 2-13 Affairs, appointed by the director of that agency; and 2-14 (5) the Health and Human Services Commission, 2-15 appointed by the commissioner of health and human services. 2-16 (c) The comptroller may request that other state agencies or 2-17 universities designate representatives to serve on the work group 2-18 in addition to the representatives listed in Subsection (b) if the 2-19 agency or university requested to participate has an employee with 2-20 specialized expertise or knowledge of a subject matter to be 2-21 included in the guide. 2-22 (d) A member of the work group serves at the will of the 2-23 appointing entity. 2-24 (e) The comptroller shall appoint a member of the work group 2-25 to serve as presiding officer, and members of the work group shall 3-1 elect any other necessary officers. 3-2 (f) The work group shall meet at the call of the presiding 3-3 officer. 3-4 (g) The appointing entity is responsible for the expenses of 3-5 a member's service on the work group. A member of the work group 3-6 receives no additional compensation for serving on the work group. 3-7 (h) The work group is not subject to Article 6252-33, 3-8 Revised Statutes. 3-9 (i) The entities listed in Subsections (b)(2)-(5) shall take 3-10 all action necessary to assist the comptroller in developing and 3-11 updating the guide, including providing staff with expertise in 3-12 information and referral services and other necessary information, 3-13 but may not diminish services required to be provided by other law. 3-14 (j) The work group may modify the contents of the guide if 3-15 the modifications do not detract from the goal of increasing 3-16 consumer access to senior services. 3-17 (k) The comptroller shall make the guide available to: 3-18 (1) the public through the Internet; and 3-19 (2) each area agency on aging and, on request, to 3-20 another state agency in electronic format. 3-21 (l) In conducting the work needed to develop the statewide 3-22 consumer guide for senior citizens, the interagency work group 3-23 shall consult with consumer and provider groups involved in the 3-24 delivery of long-term care services. 3-25 SECTION 2. Subchapter B, Chapter 101, Human Resources Code, 4-1 is amended by adding Section 101.031 to read as follows: 4-2 Sec. 101.031. SENIOR CITIZEN CONSUMER GUIDE; SUPPORT AND 4-3 DISTRIBUTION. (a) The board by rule shall require an area agency 4-4 on aging to submit annually to the comptroller current information 4-5 on local service providers and resources for senior citizens for 4-6 inclusion in the senior citizen consumer guide created under 4-7 Section 403.026, Government Code. Each agency shall provide the 4-8 information in a format prescribed by the comptroller. 4-9 (b) An area agency on aging shall make the guide available 4-10 to as many senior citizens in the agency's service area as 4-11 possible. 4-12 SECTION 3. Not later than January 10, 1998, each area agency 4-13 on aging shall submit to the comptroller of public accounts 4-14 information on local resources for senior citizens in the agency's 4-15 area for inclusion in the initial senior citizen consumer guide 4-16 created under Section 403.026, Government Code, as added by this 4-17 Act. 4-18 SECTION 4. Prior to completion of the guide, the comptroller 4-19 of public accounts shall provide opportunity for review and comment 4-20 of the guide under development to consumer and provider groups 4-21 involved in the delivery of long-term care services. Not later 4-22 than February 14, 1998, the comptroller shall complete development 4-23 of the senior citizen consumer guide required by Section 403.026, 4-24 Government Code, as added by this Act, and make the guide available 4-25 in the manner required by that section. 5-1 SECTION 5. Not later than January 15, 1999, the interagency 5-2 work group created under Subsection (b), Section 403.026, 5-3 Government Code, as added by this Act, shall prepare and deliver to 5-4 the clerks of the standing committees of the senate and house of 5-5 representatives with primary jurisdiction over human services a 5-6 report concerning the effectiveness of the senior citizen consumer 5-7 guide required by Section 403.026, Government Code, as added by 5-8 this Act. 5-9 SECTION 6. The importance of this legislation and the 5-10 crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an 5-11 emergency and an imperative public necessity that the 5-12 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several 5-13 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended, 5-14 and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its 5-15 passage, and it is so enacted.