Austin, Texas
May 3, 2015

Honorable Richard Peña Raymond, Chair, House Committee on Human Services
Ursula Parks, Director, Legislative Budget Board
HB2673 by Blanco (Relating to the eligibility of certain persons for the supplemental nutrition assistance program.), As Introduced

Drug testing individuals after a five-year disqualification period from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program could result in indeterminate costs to General Revenue Funds. The fiscal implications of the bill cannot be determined at this time as the number of individuals who would need a drug test cannot be estimated.

The bill would amend Chapter 33 of the Human Resources Code by imposing a five-year disqualification penalty in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for individuals with drug-related felony convictions, and a permanent disqualification for individuals convicted of certain crimes. The bill would allow individuals who have a felony drug conviction to regain eligibility for SNAP, if after five years from the conviction date, they submit a drug test and the drug test does not indicate the presence of marijuana or a controlled substance not prescribed by a health practitioner. The bill also imposes a permanent disqualification for SNAP for individuals convicted of certain criminal offenses.  The bill would be effective on September 1, 2015.

The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) indicates there would be a minimal cost associated with implementing modifications to the eligibility system. Based on LBB's analysis of HHSC duties and responsibilities, the costs associated with modifications to the eligibility system could be accomplished using existing resources. HHSC could incur costs associated with the implementation of drug tests to individuals. HHSC could not estimate the number of individuals who would need a drug test after the five-year disqualification period, therefore, HHSC could not estimate the cost of drug testing these individuals. If HHSC obtains federal approval to implement the provisions of the bill, the state share would be 50 percent for the cost of the drug tests.  All SNAP benefits are federally funded; therefore, there would be no additional cost to the state for an increase number of recipients receiving benefits.

Local Government Impact

No fiscal implication to units of local government is anticipated.

Source Agencies:
529 Health and Human Services Commission
LBB Staff: