HBA-EDN, MSH H.B. 636 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 636 By: Turner, Sylvester Judicial Affairs 2/26/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Sexual assault is one of the least-reported violent crimes in America. Many sexual assault victims (victims) never report these crimes to the authorities or seek support services, because they often believe and fear that they will be blamed for the crime. While programs do exist in some communities to serve victims and to help them on their paths to healing and justice, many victims may either be unaware of these programs or live in a community that does not provide such programs. House Bill 636 requires the attorney general to establish a public awareness program relating to sexual assault prevention and crisis services. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS House Bill 636 amends the Government Code to authorize the attorney general to consult and contract with or award grants to local and statewide programs for sexual assault public awareness campaign to prevent sexual assault and improve services to survivors. The bill requires the attorney general, on order to develop and implement a campaign, to contract with a statewide program (program) that has provided technical assistance relating to sexual assault issues to other programs for the three-year period preceding the date the contract is signed. The bill specifies the types of public outreach activities that the program is required to undertake in connection with the campaign. The bill requires the program to submit to the attorney general a written report on the campaign, including recommendations for changes to or continuation or elimination of the campaign, not later than September 1 of each even-numbered year. The bill provides that the program is not prevented from receiving gifts, grants, or donations from any source for the purpose of developing and implementing the campaign. The bill requires the attorney general to allocate the annual legislative appropriation to the Sexual Assault Prevention and Crisis Service (service) so that money to pay administrative costs does not exceed 15 percent of the annual appropriation, money equal to at least 15 percent of the annual appropriation goes to fund the campaign, and the remaining money goes to local and statewide sexual assault prevention and crisis services programs. The bill requires the attorney general to establish a sexual assault advisory committee composed of at least nine members from local and statewide programs and from other organizations having knowledge or experience relating to sexual assault, rather than to consult persons and organizations with such knowledge and experience. The bill requires the committee to advise the attorney general regarding program standards, program effectiveness, assignment of service areas to programs, distribution of money to programs, collection of information, standards for certification of sexual assault nurse examiners, protocols and models for treatment of survivors, and other relevant sexual assault issues. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.