1-1           By:  Zaffirini, Ellis                            S.B. No. 273

 1-2           (In the Senate - Filed January 23, 1997; January 27, 1997,

 1-3     read first time and referred to Committee on Health and Human

 1-4     Services; March 3, 1997, reported adversely, with favorable

 1-5     Committee Substitute by the following vote:  Yeas 10, Nays 0;

 1-6     March 3, 1997, sent to printer.)

 1-7     COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR S.B. No. 273                By:  Zaffirini

 1-8                            A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

 1-9                                   AN ACT

1-10     relating to development of a statewide consumer guide for senior

1-11     citizens.


1-13           SECTION 1.  Subchapter B, Chapter 403, Government Code, is

1-14     amended by adding Section 403.026 to read as follows:


1-16     WORK GROUP.  (a)  The comptroller shall develop and annually update

1-17     a statewide consumer guide for senior citizens designed to assist

1-18     senior citizens and their families in making informed choices

1-19     regarding available senior services.  The guide must:

1-20                 (1)  contain a directory of service providers for

1-21     senior citizens in a format developed by the interagency work group

1-22     created under Subsection (b) and arranged by geographical area if

1-23     appropriate;

1-24                 (2)  contain comprehensive information on services

1-25     available to senior citizens, including long-term care services,

1-26     housing assistance, meals, personal care, and transportation;

1-27                 (3)  enable a senior citizen or a person assisting a

1-28     senior citizen to identify and assess each option available for

1-29     meeting a senior citizen's individual needs; and

1-30                 (4)  prominently display:

1-31                       (A)  the regional toll-free access number of the

1-32     appropriate area agency on aging; and

1-33                       (B)  the toll-free number of the Texas Department

1-34     on Aging.

1-35           (b)  An interagency work group is created to assist the

1-36     comptroller in developing and updating the guide.  The work group

1-37     is composed of representatives from:

1-38                 (1)  the comptroller's office, appointed by the

1-39     comptroller;

1-40                 (2)  the Texas Department on Aging, appointed by the

1-41     executive director of that agency;

1-42                 (3)  the Texas Department of Human Services, appointed

1-43     by the commissioner of human services;

1-44                 (4)  the Texas Department of Housing and Community

1-45     Affairs, appointed by the director of that agency; and

1-46                 (5)  the Health and Human Services Commission,

1-47     appointed by the commissioner of health and human services.

1-48           (c)  The comptroller may request that other state agencies or

1-49     universities designate representatives to serve on the work group

1-50     in addition to the representatives listed in Subsection (b) if the

1-51     agency or university requested to participate has an employee with

1-52     specialized expertise or knowledge of a subject matter to be

1-53     included in the guide.

1-54           (d)  A member of the work group serves at the will of the

1-55     appointing entity.

1-56           (e)  The comptroller shall appoint a member of the work group

1-57     to serve as presiding officer, and members of the work group shall

1-58     elect any other necessary officers.

1-59           (f)  The work group shall meet at the call of the presiding

1-60     officer.

1-61           (g)  The appointing entity is responsible for the expenses of

1-62     a member's service on the work group.  A member of the work group

1-63     receives no additional compensation for serving on the work group.

1-64           (h)  The work group is not subject to Article 6252-33,

 2-1     Revised Statutes.

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

 2-3     all action necessary to assist the comptroller in developing and

 2-4     updating the guide, including providing staff with expertise in

 2-5     information and referral services and other necessary information,

 2-6     but may not diminish services required to be provided by other law.

 2-7           (j)  The work group may modify the contents of the guide if

 2-8     the modifications do not detract from the goal of increasing

 2-9     consumer access to senior services.

2-10           (k)  The comptroller shall make the guide available to:

2-11                 (1)  the public through the Internet; and

2-12                 (2)  each area agency on aging and, on request, to

2-13     another state agency in electronic format.

2-14           (l)  In conducting the work needed to develop the statewide

2-15     consumer guide for senior citizens, the interagency work group

2-16     shall consult with consumer and provider groups involved in the

2-17     delivery of long-term care services.

2-18           SECTION 2.  Subchapter B, Chapter 101, Human Resources Code,

2-19     is amended by adding Section 101.031 to read as follows:


2-21     DISTRIBUTION.  (a)  The board by rule shall require an area agency

2-22     on aging to submit annually to the comptroller current information

2-23     on local service providers and resources for senior citizens for

2-24     inclusion in the senior citizen consumer guide created under

2-25     Section 403.026, Government Code.  Each agency shall provide the

2-26     information in a format prescribed by the comptroller.

2-27           (b)  An area agency on aging shall make the guide available

2-28     to as many senior citizens in the agency's service area as

2-29     possible.

2-30           SECTION 3.  Not later than January 10, 1998, each area agency

2-31     on aging shall submit to the comptroller of public accounts

2-32     information on local resources for senior citizens in the agency's

2-33     area for inclusion in the initial senior citizen consumer guide

2-34     created under Section 403.026, Government Code, as added by this

2-35     Act.

2-36           SECTION 4.  Prior to completion of the guide, the comptroller

2-37     of public accounts shall provide opportunity for review and comment

2-38     of the guide under development to consumer and provider groups

2-39     involved in the delivery of long-term care services.  Not later

2-40     than February 14, 1998, the comptroller shall complete development

2-41     of the senior citizen consumer guide required by Section 403.026,

2-42     Government Code, as added by this Act, and make the guide available

2-43     in the manner required by that section.

2-44           SECTION 5.  Not later than January 15, 1999, the interagency

2-45     work group created under Subsection (b), Section 403.026,

2-46     Government Code, as added by this Act, shall prepare and deliver to

2-47     the clerks of the standing committees of the senate and house of

2-48     representatives with primary jurisdiction over human services a

2-49     report concerning the effectiveness of the senior citizen consumer

2-50     guide required by Section 403.026, Government Code, as added by

2-51     this Act.

2-52           SECTION 6.  The importance of this legislation and the

2-53     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an

2-54     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the

2-55     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several

2-56     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended,

2-57     and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its

2-58     passage, and it is so enacted.

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