86R3525 KKR-F
 
  By: Lucio III H.B. No. 713
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the employment of certain persons with disabilities.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subtitle A, Title 6, Government Code, is amended
  by adding Chapter 621 to read as follows:
  CHAPTER 621. EMPLOYMENT PREFERENCE FOR CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS WITH
  DISABILITIES
         Sec. 621.0001.  DEFINITIONS.  In this chapter:
               (1)  "Commission" means the Texas Workforce
  Commission.
               (2)  "Disability" means a mental or physical
  impairment, including blindness, that impedes an individual who is
  seeking, entering, or maintaining gainful employment.
               (3)  "Medicaid" means the medical assistance program
  established under Chapter 32, Human Resources Code.
               (4)  "Political subdivision" means a county,
  municipality, or school district.
               (5)  "Section 1915(c) Medicaid waiver program" means a
  federally funded program of the state under Medicaid that is
  authorized under Section 1915(c) of the federal Social Security Act
  (42 U.S.C. Section 1396n(c)).
               (6)  "State agency" means a board, council, committee,
  department, office, agency, or other governmental entity in the
  executive, legislative, or judicial branch of state government,
  including an institution of higher education as defined by Section
  61.003, Education Code.
               (7)  "Supported employment" means assistance provided
  to an individual who, because of a disability, requires intensive,
  ongoing support to be self-employed, work from home, or perform in a
  work setting at which individuals without disabilities are employed
  in order for the individual with a disability to sustain paid
  employment. Supported employment includes adaptations,
  supervision, and training related to an individual's disability.
         Sec. 621.0002.  INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES QUALIFIED FOR
  EMPLOYMENT PREFERENCE.  An individual with a disability qualifies
  for an employment preference under this chapter if the individual
  is eligible to receive supported employment services from the
  commission or through a Section 1915(c) Medicaid waiver program.
         Sec. 621.0003.  EMPLOYMENT PREFERENCE FOR CERTAIN
  INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES. An individual with a disability who
  qualifies for an employment preference under Section 621.0002 is
  entitled to a preference in employment with a state agency or
  political subdivision over other applicants for the same position
  who do not have a greater qualification.
         Sec. 621.0004.  DESIGNATION OF OPEN POSITION FOR AND
  IMMEDIATE HIRING OF INDIVIDUAL WITH DISABILITY ENTITLED TO
  EMPLOYMENT PREFERENCE. (a)  A state agency or political
  subdivision may designate an open position for employment as a
  vocational rehabilitation services position and only accept
  applications for that position from individuals who are entitled to
  an employment preference under Section 621.0003.
         (b)  Notwithstanding any other law, a state agency or
  political subdivision may hire for an open position within the
  state agency or political subdivision an individual who is entitled
  to an employment preference under Section 621.0003 without
  announcing or advertising the position if:
               (1)  the position meets the requirements for
  competitive integrated employment under 34 C.F.R. Section
  361.5(c)(9);
               (2)  the state agency or political subdivision receives
  written verification from the commission or the Health and Human
  Services Commission that the individual is eligible to receive
  supported employment services; and
               (3)  the state agency or political subdivision
  determines the individual meets the qualifications for the
  position.
         (c)  An individual who is entitled to an employment
  preference under Section 621.0003 and is otherwise eligible for
  employment is considered to meet the qualification of having a high
  school diploma if the individual meets the criteria specified by
  Section 39.053(g-2), Education Code, and the individual's school or
  school district provides written verification that the individual
  meets those criteria.
         Sec. 621.0005.  COMPLAINT REGARDING EMPLOYMENT DECISION OF
  STATE AGENCY OR POLITICAL SUBDIVISION. (a) An individual entitled
  to an employment preference under this chapter who is aggrieved by a
  decision of a state agency or political subdivision relating to
  hiring the individual, or relating to retaining the individual if
  the state agency or political subdivision reduces its workforce,
  may appeal the decision by filing a written complaint with the
  administrative head of the state agency or the governing body of the
  political subdivision.
         (b)  The administrative head of a state agency or the
  governing body of a political subdivision that receives a written
  complaint under Subsection (a) shall respond to the complaint not
  later than the 15th business day after the date the administrative
  head or governing body receives the complaint.  The administrative
  head or governing body may render a different hiring or retention
  decision than the decision that is the subject of the complaint if
  the administrative head or governing body determines that the
  employment preference under this chapter was not applied.
         SECTION 2.  Chapter 621, Government Code, as added by this
  Act, applies only to an open position with a state agency or
  political subdivision for which the state agency or political
  subdivision begins accepting applications on or after the effective
  date of this Act.  An open position with a state agency or political
  subdivision for which the state agency or political subdivision
  begins accepting applications before the effective date of this Act
  is governed by the law in effect on the date the state agency or
  political subdivision began accepting applications, and the former
  law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.