By Zaffirini                                     S.B. No. 273

      75R2652 KKA-D                           

                                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 A, 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 periodically

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

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

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

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

1-13     senior citizens, in the format adopted by the Texas Board on Aging

1-14     under Section 101.032, Human Resources Code, and arranged by

1-15     geographical area if 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; and

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

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

1-21     meeting a senior citizen's individual needs.

1-22           (b)  An interagency work group is created to assist the

1-23     comptroller in developing and updating the guide.  The work group

1-24     is composed of representatives from:

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

 2-2     comptroller;

 2-3                 (2)  the Texas Department on Aging, appointed by the

 2-4     executive director of that agency;

 2-5                 (3)  the Texas Department of Human Services, appointed

 2-6     by the commissioner of human services;

 2-7                 (4)  the Texas Department of Housing and Community

 2-8     Affairs, appointed by the director of that agency; and

 2-9                 (5)  The University of Texas at Austin, appointed by

2-10     the president of the university.

2-11           (c)  A member of the work group serves at the will of the

2-12     appointing agency or university.

2-13           (d)  The comptroller shall appoint a member of the work group

2-14     to serve as presiding officer, and members of the work group shall

2-15     elect any other necessary officers.

2-16           (e)  The work group shall meet at the call of the presiding

2-17     officer.

2-18           (f)  The appointing entity is responsible for the expenses of

2-19     a member's service on the work group.  A member of the work group

2-20     receives no additional compensation for serving on the work group.

2-21           (g)  The work group is not subject to Article 6252-33,

2-22     Revised Statutes.

2-23           (h)  The entities listed in Subsections (b)(2)-(5) shall take

2-24     all action necessary to assist the comptroller in developing and

2-25     updating the guide, including providing staff with expertise in

2-26     information and referral services and other necessary resources,

2-27     but may not diminish services required to be provided by other law.

 3-1           (i)  The Health and Human Services Commission may shift

 3-2     resources between health and human services agencies as necessary

 3-3     to facilitate the  development of the guide.

 3-4           (j)  The comptroller shall make the guide available to the

 3-5     public in print, in electronic format, and through the Internet.

 3-6           SECTION 2.  Subchapter B, Chapter 101, Human Resources Code,

 3-7     is amended by adding Sections 101.031 and 101.032 to read as

 3-8     follows:

 3-9           Sec. 101.031.  SENIOR CITIZEN CONSUMER GUIDE SUPPORT.  The

3-10     board by rule shall require an area agency on aging to specifically

3-11     identify in the agency's area plan the allocation of agency

3-12     resources dedicated to supporting the development and updating of

3-13     the senior citizen consumer guide required by Section 403.026,

3-14     Government Code.


3-16     LISTINGS.  The board by rule shall adopt standard formats to be

3-17     used in listing service  providers in the senior citizen consumer

3-18     guide required by Section 403.026, Government Code.

3-19           SECTION 3.  Not later than October 15, 1997, the Texas Board

3-20     on Aging shall adopt the standard formats required by Section

3-21     101.032, Human Resources Code, as added by this Act.

3-22           SECTION 4.  Not later than January 1, 1998, the comptroller

3-23     shall complete development of the senior citizen consumer guide

3-24     required by Section 403.026, Government Code, as added by this Act,

3-25     and make the guide available in the manner required by that

3-26     section.

3-27           SECTION 5.  Not later than January 15, 1999, the interagency

 4-1     work group created under Section 403.026(b), Government Code, as

 4-2     added by this  Act, shall prepare and deliver to the clerks of the

 4-3     standing committees of the senate and house of representatives with

 4-4     primary jurisdiction over human services a report concerning the

 4-5     effectiveness of the senior citizen consumer guide required by

 4-6     Section 403.026, Government Code, as added by this Act.

 4-7           SECTION 6.  The importance of this legislation and the

 4-8     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an

 4-9     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the

4-10     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several

4-11     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended,

4-12     and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its

4-13     passage, and it is so enacted.