H.B. No. 2718
  relating to a program to allow faith- and community-based
  organizations to offer supplemental assistance to certain
  recipients of public assistance.
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter B, Chapter 531, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 531.02482 to read as follows:
  this section, "community-based organization" and "faith-based
  organization" have the meanings assigned by Section 535.001.
         (b)  The commission shall establish a program under which
  faith- and community-based organizations may, on the request of the
  applicant, contact and offer supplemental assistance to an
  applicant for benefits under:
               (1)  the financial assistance program under Chapter 31,
  Human Resources Code;
               (2)  the medical assistance program under Chapter 32,
  Human Resources Code;
               (3)  the supplemental nutrition assistance program
  under Chapter 33, Human Resources Code; or
               (4)  the child health plan program under Chapter 62,
  Health and Safety Code.
         (c)  At the time of application for benefits described by
  Subsection (b), an applicant must:
               (1)  be informed about and given the opportunity to
  enroll in the program; and
               (2)  be informed that enrolling in the program will not
  affect the person's eligibility for benefits.
         (d)  The commission shall develop a procedure under which
  faith- and community-based organizations may apply to participate
  in the program.
         (e)  The executive commissioner shall adopt rules to
  implement the program established under this section, including
  rules that:
               (1)  describe the types of faith- and community-based
  organizations that may apply to participate in the program and the
  qualifications and standards of service required of a participating
               (2)  facilitate contact between a person who enrolls in
  the program and a faith- and community-based organization
  participating in the program that provides supplemental services
  that may be of assistance to the person;
               (3)  establish processes for the suspension,
  revocation, and periodic renewal of an organization's
  participation in the program, as appropriate;
               (4)  establish methods to ensure the confidentiality
  and appropriate use of applicant information shared with a
  participating organization; and
               (5)  permit a person enrolled in the program to
  terminate the person's enrollment in the program.
         (f)  In establishing the program, the commission may solicit
  expertise and assistance from interested persons, including faith-
  and community-based organizations, and may establish a temporary
  work group to provide input and assistance. This subsection
  expires, and any work group established under this subsection is
  abolished, September 1, 2017.
         SECTION 2.  If before implementing any provision of this Act
  a state agency determines that a waiver or authorization from a
  federal agency is necessary for implementation of that provision,
  the agency affected by the provision shall request the waiver or
  authorization and may delay implementing that provision until the
  waiver or authorization is granted.
         SECTION 3.  As soon as practicable after the effective date
  of this Act, the executive commissioner of the Health and Human
  Services Commission shall adopt the rules necessary to implement
  the changes in law made by this Act.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2016.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I certify that H.B. No. 2718 was passed by the House on April
  21, 2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 144, Nays 0, 1 present, not
  voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
  No. 2718 on May 27, 2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 141, Nays 0,
  2 present, not voting.
  Chief Clerk of the House   
         I certify that H.B. No. 2718 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 24, 2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 30, Nays
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________