1-1     relating to development of a statewide consumer guide for senior

 1-2     citizens and to coordination of state activities relating to aging;

 1-3     authorizing a study relating to long-term health care.


 1-5           SECTION 1.  Subchapter B, Chapter 403, Government Code, is

 1-6     amended by adding Section 403.026 to read as follows:


 1-8     WORK GROUP.  (a)  The comptroller shall develop and annually update

 1-9     a statewide consumer guide for senior citizens designed to assist

1-10     senior citizens and their families in making informed choices

1-11     regarding available senior services.  The guide must:

1-12                 (1)  contain a directory of service providers for

1-13     senior citizens in a format developed by the interagency work group

1-14     created under Subsection (b) and arranged by geographical area if

1-15     appropriate;

1-16                 (2)  contain comprehensive information on services

1-17     available to senior citizens, including long-term care services,

1-18     housing assistance, meals, personal care, and transportation;

1-19                 (3)  enable a senior citizen or a person assisting a

1-20     senior citizen to identify and assess each option available for

1-21     meeting a senior citizen's individual needs; and

1-22                 (4)  prominently display:

1-23                       (A)  the regional toll-free access number of the

 2-1     appropriate area agency on aging; and

 2-2                       (B)  the toll-free number of the Texas Department

 2-3     on Aging.

 2-4           (b)  An interagency work group is created to assist the

 2-5     comptroller in developing and updating the guide.  The work group

 2-6     is composed of representatives from:

 2-7                 (1)  the comptroller's office, appointed by the

 2-8     comptroller;

 2-9                 (2)  the Texas Department on Aging, appointed by the

2-10     executive director of that agency;

2-11                 (3)  the Texas Department of Human Services, appointed

2-12     by the commissioner of human services;

2-13                 (4)  the Texas Department of Housing and Community

2-14     Affairs, appointed by the director of that agency;

2-15                 (5)  the Health and Human Services Commission,

2-16     appointed by the commissioner of health and human services;

2-17                 (6)  the Texas Department of Insurance, appointed by

2-18     the commissioner of insurance;

2-19                 (7)  the office of the attorney general, appointed by

2-20     the attorney general; and

2-21                 (8)  consumer groups representing senior citizen

2-22     interests, appointed by the executive director of the Texas

2-23     Department on Aging.

2-24           (c)  The comptroller may request that other state agencies or

2-25     universities designate representatives to serve on the work group

 3-1     in addition to the representatives listed in Subsection (b) if the

 3-2     agency or university requested to participate has an employee with

 3-3     specialized expertise or knowledge of a subject matter to be

 3-4     included in the guide.

 3-5           (d)  A member of the work group serves at the will of the

 3-6     appointing entity.

 3-7           (e)  The comptroller shall appoint a member of the work group

 3-8     to serve as presiding officer, and members of the work group shall

 3-9     elect any other necessary officers.

3-10           (f)  The work group shall meet at the call of the presiding

3-11     officer.

3-12           (g)  The appointing entity is responsible for the expenses of

3-13     a member's service on the work group.  A member of the work group

3-14     receives no additional compensation for serving on the work group.

3-15           (h)  The work group is not subject to Article 6252-33,

3-16     Revised Statutes.

3-17           (i)  The entities listed in Subsections (b)(2)-(7) shall take

3-18     all action necessary to assist the comptroller in developing and

3-19     updating the guide, including providing staff with expertise in

3-20     information and referral services and other necessary information,

3-21     but may not diminish services required to be provided by other law.

3-22           (j)  The work group may modify the contents of the guide if

3-23     the modifications do not detract from the goal of increasing

3-24     consumer access to senior services.

3-25           (k)  The comptroller shall make the guide available to:

 4-1                 (1)  the public through the Internet; and

 4-2                 (2)  each area agency on aging and, on request, to

 4-3     another state agency in electronic format.

 4-4           (l)  To the extent practicable, the comptroller shall ensure

 4-5     that the guide is available to the public in a large-print format

 4-6     and in other alternate formats as necessary to enable all consumers

 4-7     to use the guide.

 4-8           (m)  In conducting the work needed to develop the statewide

 4-9     consumer guide for senior citizens, the interagency work group

4-10     shall consult with consumer and provider groups involved in the

4-11     delivery of long-term care services.

4-12           (n)  The work group shall also develop and submit to the

4-13     comptroller:

4-14                 (1)  a list of necessary senior services that are not

4-15     generally available;

4-16                 (2)  recommendations for improving coordinated delivery

4-17     of a continuum of care for senior citizens; and

4-18                 (3)  recommendations relating to a comprehensive bill

4-19     of rights for senior citizens.

4-20           SECTION 2.  Section 101.022, Human Resources Code, is amended

4-21     by adding Subsections (f) and (h) to read as follows:

4-22           (f)  The department shall lead a group of state agencies

4-23     formed to identify and address in cooperative efforts all major

4-24     public policy issues relating to the aging of Texas residents.  The

4-25     group shall include the office of the comptroller, the Employees

 5-1     Retirement System of Texas, the Texas Department of Housing and

 5-2     Community Affairs, the Texas Department of Insurance, and each

 5-3     health and human services agency, as defined by Section 531.001,

 5-4     Government Code.  The group may include other agencies identified

 5-5     by the executive director of aging.  To the extent possible without

 5-6     adversely impacting other duties, each agency included in the group

 5-7     shall cooperate with the department and contribute as appropriate

 5-8     to the department's and the group's efforts relating to aging.

 5-9           (h)  The department shall form a broad-based coalition of the

5-10     public and private sectors in developing materials and conducting

5-11     public information campaigns to assist Texas residents in preparing

5-12     for retirement and aging from a holistic perspective.  The

5-13     coalition shall include representatives of the finance, law, and

5-14     health care professions, the housing industry, business, media,

5-15     faith-based communities, and senior citizens.

5-16           SECTION 3.  Subchapter B, Chapter 101, Human Resources Code,

5-17     is amended by adding Section 101.031 to read as follows:


5-19     DISTRIBUTION.  (a)  The board by rule shall require an area agency

5-20     on aging to submit annually to the comptroller current information

5-21     on local service providers and resources for senior citizens for

5-22     inclusion in the senior citizen consumer guide created under

5-23     Section 403.026, Government Code.  Each agency shall provide the

5-24     information in a format prescribed by the comptroller.

5-25           (b)  An area agency on aging shall make the guide available

 6-1     to as many senior citizens in the agency's service area as

 6-2     possible.  The agency shall make the guide available in a

 6-3     large-print format and in alternate formats as necessary to enable

 6-4     all senior citizens to use the guide.

 6-5           SECTION 4.  (a)  The comptroller of public accounts shall

 6-6     coordinate a joint study of planning and financial strategies for

 6-7     long-term health care for the elderly and persons with disabilities

 6-8     to be conducted by:

 6-9                 (1)  the office of the comptroller;

6-10                 (2)  the Texas Department on Aging;

6-11                 (3)  the Texas Department of Human Services;

6-12                 (4)  the Health and Human Services Commission;

6-13                 (5)  the Texas Department of Insurance;

6-14                 (6)  the office of public insurance counsel;

6-15                 (7)  the Texas Department of Health;

6-16                 (8)  the Employees Retirement System of Texas;

6-17                 (9)  the Texas Department of Housing and Community

6-18     Affairs;

6-19                 (10)  The University of Texas System;

6-20                 (11)  Texas A&M University; and

6-21                 (12)  each medical school operated by The University of

6-22     Texas System.

6-23           (b)  The study shall include a consideration of financial

6-24     methods of improving access to long-term health care, including:

6-25                 (1)  long-term health care insurance;

 7-1                 (2)  vouchers for long-term health care; and

 7-2                 (3)  buy-in arrangements to managed care programs.

 7-3           (c)  The comptroller of public accounts may contract with an

 7-4     actuary for assistance with financial aspects of the study.

 7-5           (d)  In this section, "long-term health care" includes:

 7-6                 (1)  adult day-care facilities;

 7-7                 (2)  adult day health care facilities;

 7-8                 (3)  home and community support services housing

 7-9     programs for the elderly or persons with disabilities;

7-10                 (4)  nursing facilities;

7-11                 (5)  personal care facilities;

7-12                 (6)  respite care services; and

7-13                 (7)  other services providing care for persons who are

7-14     elderly or disabled.

7-15           (e)  Not later than December 15, 1998, the comptroller of

7-16     public accounts shall submit to the legislature a report containing

7-17     findings and recommendations resulting from the study.

7-18           SECTION 5.  Not later than January 10, 1998, each area agency

7-19     on aging shall submit to the comptroller of public accounts

7-20     information on local resources for senior citizens in the agency's

7-21     area for inclusion in the initial senior citizen consumer guide

7-22     created under Section 403.026, Government Code, as added by this

7-23     Act.

7-24           SECTION 6.  Prior to completion of the guide, the comptroller

7-25     of public accounts shall provide opportunity for review and comment

 8-1     of the guide under development to consumer and provider groups

 8-2     involved in the delivery of long-term care services.  Not later

 8-3     than February 14, 1998, the comptroller shall complete development

 8-4     of the senior citizen consumer guide required by Section 403.026,

 8-5     Government Code, as added by this Act, and make the guide available

 8-6     in the manner required by that section.

 8-7           SECTION 7.  Not later than January 15, 1999, the interagency

 8-8     work group created under Subsection (b), Section 403.026,

 8-9     Government Code, as added by this Act, shall prepare and deliver to

8-10     the clerks of the standing committees of the senate and house of

8-11     representatives with primary jurisdiction over human services a

8-12     report concerning the effectiveness of the senior citizen consumer

8-13     guide required by Section 403.026, Government Code, as added by

8-14     this Act.

8-15           SECTION 8.  The importance of this legislation and the

8-16     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an

8-17     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the

8-18     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several

8-19     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended,

8-20     and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its

8-21     passage, and it is so enacted.

                                                                S.B. No. 273

         ________________________________   ________________________________

             President of the Senate              Speaker of the House

               I hereby certify that S.B. No. 273 passed the Senate on

         March 6, 1997, by the following vote:  Yeas 29, Nays 0;

         May 19, 1997, Senate refused to concur in House amendment and

         requested appointment of Conference Committee; May 20, 1997, House

         granted request of the Senate; May 26, 1997, Senate adopted

         Conference Committee Report by the following vote:  Yeas 31,

         Nays 0.


                                                 Secretary of the Senate

               I hereby certify that S.B. No. 273 passed the House, with

         amendment, on May 16, 1997, by a non-record vote; May 20, 1997,

         House granted request of the Senate for appointment of Conference

         Committee; May 28, 1997, House adopted Conference Committee Report

         by a non-record vote.


                                                 Chief Clerk of the House