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  86R8221 JG-F
 
  By: Alvarado S.B. No. 1834
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to a study and pilot program regarding the use of
  incentives to purchase certain fruits or vegetables under the
  supplemental nutrition assistance program.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter A, Chapter 33, Human Resources Code,
  is amended by adding Sections 33.035 and 33.036 to read as follows:
         Sec. 33.035.  PILOT PROGRAM TO INCENTIVIZE PURCHASE OF
  TEXAS-GROWN FRUITS OR VEGETABLES UNDER SNAP. (a) In this section:
               (1)  "Eligible fruits or vegetables" means any variety
  of fresh, canned, dried, or frozen whole or cut fruits or
  vegetables:
                     (A)  with no added sugars, fats, oils, or salt;
  and
                     (B)  that are produced or harvested in this state.
               (2)  "Incentive" means a financial benefit provided to
  a recipient of supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits
  that encourages the recipient to purchase eligible fruits or
  vegetables.
               (3)  "Pilot program" means the pilot program
  established under Subsection (b).
               (4)  "Retailer" has the meaning assigned by Section
  33.0023.
         (b)  The commission, in consultation with the work group
  established under Subsection (c), shall establish a pilot program
  in one or more geographic areas of this state through which:
               (1)  a recipient of supplemental nutrition assistance
  program benefits is able to receive an incentive when purchasing
  eligible fruits or vegetables from a retailer that may be used
  toward a subsequent purchase of eligible fruits or vegetables; and
               (2)  a retailer is authorized to publicize the
  incentive to recipients of supplemental nutrition assistance
  program benefits.
         (c)  The commission shall establish a work group to provide
  input for the establishment of the pilot program. The work group
  must be composed of relevant stakeholders from rural and urban
  areas throughout this state who have expertise in providing
  incentives under the supplemental nutrition assistance program. At
  least one member of the work group must have direct marketing
  representative experience in operating a comparable program.
         (d)  The executive commissioner shall appoint one member of
  the work group to serve as presiding officer.
         (e)  The work group is not subject to Chapter 2110,
  Government Code.
         (f)  A member of the work group may not receive compensation
  for serving on the work group and may not be reimbursed for travel
  or other expenses incurred while conducting the business of the
  work group.
         (g)  The commission may contract with an entity that has
  appropriate experience and expertise in administering comparable
  programs to administer the pilot program.
         (h)  The commission may solicit and accept gifts, grants, and
  donations from any source to establish and administer the pilot
  program or to perform any other duty required under this section.
         (i)  The commission, with assistance from the work group,
  shall:
               (1)  develop and the executive commissioner shall
  submit any necessary applications to obtain a federal waiver to
  operate the pilot program; and
               (2)  apply for any available federal money to operate
  the program, including federal nutrition incentives available
  under Section 4205, Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (7 U.S.C.
  Section 7517).
         Sec. 33.036.  STUDY ON EXISTING PROGRAMS THAT INCENTIVIZE
  PURCHASE OF TEXAS-GROWN FRUITS OR VEGETABLES UNDER SNAP. (a) In
  this section, "eligible fruits or vegetables" and "incentive" have
  the meanings assigned by Section 33.035.
         (b)  The commission, in consultation with the work group
  established under Section 33.035, shall conduct a study on programs
  in this state that provide incentives for the purchase of eligible
  fruits or vegetables under the supplemental nutrition assistance
  program. The study must include:
               (1)  an inventory of existing programs that provide
  incentives for the purchase of eligible fruits or vegetables under
  the supplemental nutrition assistance program, including details
  on how the programs are funded;
               (2)  recommendations on increasing the number and
  availability of programs in this state that provide incentives for
  the purchase of eligible fruits or vegetables under the
  supplemental nutrition assistance program; and
               (3)  an analysis of:
                     (A)  strategies to encourage the purchase of
  eligible fruits or vegetables using supplemental nutrition
  assistance program benefits;
                     (B)  the potential impact of programs in this
  state that provide incentives for the purchase of eligible fruits
  or vegetables on the specialty crop industry in this state; and
                     (C)  federal programs and money available to
  encourage the purchase of eligible fruits or vegetables using
  supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits, including the
  Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program operated
  by the United States Department of Agriculture.
         (c)  The commission may solicit and accept gifts, grants, and
  donations from any source to conduct the study.
         (d)  Not later than December 1, 2020, the commission shall
  prepare and submit to the governor, the lieutenant governor, the
  speaker of the house of representatives, and each standing
  committee of the legislature having primary jurisdiction over
  health and human services a written report that summarizes the
  commission's findings under Subsection (b) and recommendations for
  legislative or other action.
         (e)  This section expires September 1, 2021.
         SECTION 2.  As soon as practicable after the effective date
  of this Act, the executive commissioner of the Health and Human
  Services Commission shall adopt rules necessary to implement
  Sections 33.035 and 33.036, Human Resources Code, as added by this
  Act.
         SECTION 3.  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 4.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2019.