Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 636
By: Turner, Sylvester
Judicial Affairs


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. 


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. 


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. 


September 1, 2001.