By Zaffirini, et al.                                   S.B. No. 273

         Substitute the following for S.B. No. 273:

         By Wohlgemuth                                      C.S.S.B. No. 273

                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

 1-1                                   AN ACT

 1-2     relating to development of a statewide consumer guide for senior

 1-3     citizens.


 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 Texas Department of Aging shall develop and

 1-9     annually update a statewide consumer guide for senior citizens

1-10     designed to assist senior citizens and their families in making

1-11     informed choices regarding available senior services.  The guide

1-12     must:

1-13                 (1)  contain a directory of service providers for

1-14     senior citizens in a format developed by the interagency work group

1-15     created under Subsection (b) and arranged by geographical area if

1-16     appropriate;

1-17                 (2)  contain comprehensive information on services

1-18     available to senior citizens, including long-term care services,

1-19     housing assistance, meals, personal care, and transportation;

1-20                 (3)  enable a senior citizen or a person assisting a

1-21     senior citizen to identify and assess each option available for

1-22     meeting a senior citizen's individual needs; and

1-23                 (4)  prominently display:

1-24                       (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 Texas

 2-5     Department of Aging in developing and updating the guide.  The work

 2-6     group 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; and

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

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

2-17           (c)  The executive director may request that other state

2-18     agencies or universities designate representatives to serve on the

2-19     work group in addition to the representatives listed in Subsection

2-20     (b) if the agency or university requested to participate has an

2-21     employee with specialized expertise or knowledge of a subject

2-22     matter to be included in the guide.

2-23           (d)  A member of the work group serves at the will of the

2-24     appointing entity.

2-25           (e)  The Board of the Texas Department of Aging shall appoint

2-26     a member of the work group to serve as presiding officer, and

2-27     members of the work group shall elect any other necessary officers.

 3-1           (f)  The work group shall meet at the call of the presiding

 3-2     officer.

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

 3-4     a member's service on the work group.  A member of the work group

 3-5     receives no additional compensation for serving on the work group.

 3-6           (h)  The work group is not subject to Article 6252-33,

 3-7     Revised Statutes.

 3-8           (i)  The entities listed in Subsections (b)(2)-(5) shall take

 3-9     all action necessary to assist the Texas Department on Aging in

3-10     developing and updating the guide, including providing staff with

3-11     expertise in information and referral services and other necessary

3-12     information, but may not diminish services required to be provided

3-13     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 Texas Department on Aging shall make the guide

3-18     available to:

3-19                 (1)  the public through the Internet; and

3-20                 (2)  each area agency on aging and, on request, to

3-21     another state agency in electronic format.

3-22           (l)  In conducting the work needed to develop the statewide

3-23     consumer guide for senior citizens, the interagency work group

3-24     shall consult with consumer and provider groups involved in the

3-25     delivery of long-term care services.

3-26           SECTION 2.  Subchapter B, Chapter 101, Human Resources Code,

3-27     is amended by adding Section 101.031 to read as follows:


 4-2     DISTRIBUTION.  (a)  The board by rule shall require an area agency

 4-3     on aging to submit annually to the Texas Department Aging current

 4-4     information on local service providers and resources for senior

 4-5     citizens for inclusion in the senior citizen consumer guide created

 4-6     under Section 403.026, Government Code.  Each agency shall provide

 4-7     the information in a format prescribed by the Texas Department on

 4-8     Aging.

 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.  Section 101.022, Human Resources Code, is amended

4-13     by adding Subsections (f) and (h) to read as follows:

4-14           (f)  The department shall lead a group of state agencies

4-15     formed to identify and address in cooperative efforts all major

4-16     public policy issues relating to the aging of Texas residents.  The

4-17     group shall include the office of the comptroller, the Employees

4-18     Retirement System of Texas, the Texas Department of Housing and

4-19     Community Affairs, the Texas Department of Insurance, and each

4-20     health and human services agency, as defined by Section 531.001,

4-21     Government Code.  The group may include other agencies identified

4-22     by the executive  director of aging.  To the extent possible

4-23     without adversely impacting other duties, each agency included in

4-24     the group shall cooperate with the department and contribute as

4-25     appropriate to the department's and group's  efforts relating to

4-26     aging.

4-27           (h)  The department shall form a broad-based coalition of the

 5-1     public and private sectors in developing materials and conducting

 5-2     public information campaigns to assist Texas residents in preparing

 5-3     for retirement and aging from a holistic perspective.  The

 5-4     coalition shall include representatives of the finance, law, and

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

 5-6     faith-based communities, and senior citizens.

 5-7           SECTION 4.  (a)  The comptroller shall coordinate a joint

 5-8     study of planning and financial strategies for long-term health

 5-9     care for the elderly and persons with disabilities to be conducted

5-10     by:

5-11                 (1)  the office of the comptroller;

5-12                 (2)  the Texas Department on Aging;

5-13                 (3)  the Texas Department of Human Services;

5-14                 (4)  the Health and Human Services Commission;

5-15                 (5)  the Texas Department of Insurance;

5-16                 (6)  the office of public insurance counsel;

5-17                 (7)  the Texas Department of Health;

5-18                 (8)  the Employees Retirement System of Texas;

5-19                 (9)  the Texas Department of Housing and Community

5-20     Affairs;

5-21                 (10)  The University of Texas System;

5-22                 (11)  Texas A&M University; and

5-23                 (12)  each medical school operated by The University of

5-24     Texas System.

5-25           (b)  The study shall include a consideration of financial

5-26     methods of improving access to long-term health care, including:

5-27                 (1)  long-term health care insurance;

 6-1                 (2)  vouchers for long-term health care; and

 6-2                 (3)  buy-in arrangements to managed care programs.

 6-3           (c)  The comptroller may contract with an actuary for

 6-4     assistance with financial aspects of the study.

 6-5           (d)  In this section, "long-term health care" includes:

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

 6-7                 (2)  adult day health care facilities;

 6-8                 (3)  home and community support services housing

 6-9     programs for the elderly or persons with disabilities;

6-10                 (4)  nursing facilities;

6-11                 (5)  personal care facilities;

6-12                 (6)  respite care services; and

6-13                 (7)  other services providing care for persons who are

6-14     elderly or disabled.

6-15           (e)  Not later than December 15, 1998, the comptroller shall

6-16     submit to the legislature a report containing findings and

6-17     recommendations resulting from the study.

6-18           SECTION 5.  Not later than January 10, 1998, each area agency

6-19     on aging shall submit to the Texas Department on Aging information

6-20     on local resources for senior citizens in the agency's area for

6-21     inclusion in the initial senior citizen consumer guide created

6-22     under Section 403.026, Government Code, as added by this Act.

6-23           SECTION 6.  Prior to completion of the guide, the Texas

6-24     Department on Aging shall provide opportunity for review and

6-25     comment of the guide under development to consumer and provider

6-26     groups involved in the delivery of long-term care services.  Not

6-27     later than February 14, 1998, the department shall complete

 7-1     development of the senior citizen consumer guide required by

 7-2     Section 403.026, Government Code, as added by this Act, and make

 7-3     the guide available in the manner required by that section.

 7-4           SECTION 7.  Not later than January 15, 1999, the interagency

 7-5     work group created under Subsection (b), Section 403.026,

 7-6     Government Code, as added by this Act, shall prepare and deliver to

 7-7     the clerks of the standing committees of the senate and house of

 7-8     representatives with primary jurisdiction over human services a

 7-9     report concerning the effectiveness of the senior citizen consumer

7-10     guide required by Section 403.026, Government Code, as added by

7-11     this Act.

7-12           SECTION 8.  The importance of this legislation and the

7-13     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an

7-14     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the

7-15     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several

7-16     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended,

7-17     and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its

7-18     passage, and it is so enacted.