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  S.B. No. 2104
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to certain advocacy and legal services for Texas Veterans
  and to tuition and fees for certain military spouses and
  dependents.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 434.017(c), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (c)  Money in the fund may only be appropriated to the Texas
  Veterans Commission. Money appropriated under this subsection
  shall be used to:
               (1)  make grants to address veterans' needs;
               (2)  make grants to provide pro bono legal services to
  veterans, active duty members of the United States armed forces,
  and members of the state military forces;
               (3)  administer the fund; and
               (4) [(3)]  analyze and investigate data received from
  the federal Public Assistance Reporting Information System (PARIS)
  that is administered by the Administration for Children and
  Families of the United States Department of Health and Human
  Services.
         SECTION 2.  Section 434.0171, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 434.0171.  STATE EMPLOYEE CONTRIBUTIONS TO FUND FOR
  VETERANS' ASSISTANCE. For purposes of Subchapter I, Chapter 659:
               (1)  the Texas Veterans Commission, for the sole
  purpose of managing the fund for veterans' assistance, is
  considered an eligible charitable organization entitled to
  participate in the state employee charitable campaign; and
               (2)  a state employee is entitled to authorize a
  deduction for contributions to the Texas Veterans Commission for
  the purposes of managing the fund for veterans' assistance as a
  charitable contribution under Section 659.132, and the Texas
  Veterans Commission may use the contributions for the purposes
  listed in Section 434.017(c)[, as redesignated and amended by
  Chapter 1418 (H.B. 3107), Acts of the 80th Legislature, Regular
  Session, 2007].
         SECTION 3.  Subchapter B, Chapter 434, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 434.040 to read as follows:
         Sec. 434.040.  TEXAS VETERANS COUNTY SERVICE OFFICER TASK
  FORCE. (a)  In this section:
               (1)  "Rural county" means a county with a population of
  less than 200,000.
               (2)  "Task force" means the Texas Veterans County
  Service Officer Task Force.
               (3)  "Urban county" means a county with a population of
  200,000 or more.
         (b)  The Texas Veterans County Service Officer Task Force is
  established to study the impact and efficacy of officers in this
  state.
         (c)  The task force is composed of the following nine
  members:
               (1)  the chair of the House Committee on Defense and
  Veterans' Affairs;
               (2)  the chair of the Senate Committee on Veteran
  Affairs and Border Security;
               (3)  a representative of the commission;
               (4)  the chair of the Veterans County Service Officer
  Advisory Committee;
               (5)  a representative of the Texas Coalition of
  Veterans Organizations;
               (6)  an officer representing a rural county selected by
  the chair of the House Committee on Defense and Veterans' Affairs;
               (7)  an officer representing an urban county selected
  by the chair of the House Committee on Defense and Veterans'
  Affairs;
               (8)  an officer representing a rural county selected by
  the chair of the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Border
  Security; and 
               (9)  an officer representing an urban county selected
  by the chair of the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Border
  Security.
         (d)  The chairs of the House Committee on Defense and
  Veterans' Affairs and Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and
  Border Security serve as co-chairs of the task force.
         (e)  A recommendation of the task force must be approved by a
  majority vote of the members of the task force.
         (f)  Each member of the task force has one vote.
         (g)  The task force shall:
               (1)  examine the role and duties of officers in each
  county;
               (2)  identify the regions of this state that are in need
  of officers; and
               (3)  determine types and levels of support needed from
  this state in order for officers to appropriately advocate for the
  veterans served by the officers.
         (h)  Not later than December 1, 2020, the commission shall
  prepare and submit a report based on recommendations of the task
  force regarding the issues described in Subsection (g) to the
  Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Border Security and House
  Committee on Defense and Veterans' Affairs.  The report must be
  approved by a majority vote of the members of the task force.
         (i)  This section expires January 1, 2021.
         SECTION 4.  Section 434.154(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  The council may, by majority vote, establish the
  following coordinating workgroups to focus on specific issues
  affecting veterans, servicemembers, and their families:
               (1)  health;
               (2)  mental health;
               (3)  employment;
               (4)  higher education;
               (5)  criminal justice;
               (6)  housing;
               (7)  transportation;
               (8)  women veterans;
               (9)  pro bono legal services for veterans, including
  opportunities and obstacles for providing those services; and
               (10) [(9)]  any other coordinating workgroup
  considered necessary.
         SECTION 5.  Section 54.241(g), Education Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (g)  If a member of the Armed Forces of the United States is
  stationed outside Texas, an [and the member's spouse or child
  establishes residence in Texas by residing in Texas and by filing
  with the Texas institution of higher education at which the spouse
  or child plans to register a letter of intent to establish residence
  in Texas, the] institution of higher education shall:
               (1)  permit the member's spouse or child to pay the
  tuition, fees, and other charges provided for Texas residents
  without regard to the length of time that the spouse or child has
  resided in Texas if the spouse or child establishes residence in
  Texas by residing in Texas and by filing with the Texas institution
  of higher education at which the spouse or child plans to register a
  letter of intent to establish residence in Texas; and
               (2)  permit the member's spouse to pay the tuition,
  fees, and other charges provided for Texas residents if the spouse:
                     (A)  graduated from a public or private high
  school in this state or received the equivalent of a high school
  diploma in this state; and
                     (B)  maintained a domicile in this state
  continuously for at least one year before the member was assigned to
  duty outside Texas.
         SECTION 6.  Section 54.241, Education Code, as amended by
  this Act, applies beginning with tuition and fees charged for the
  2019 fall semester.
         SECTION 7.  (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (b) of
  this section, this Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
         (b)  Section 54.241, Education Code, as amended by this Act,
  takes effect immediately if this Act 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, Section 54.241, Education
  Code, as amended by this Act, takes effect September 1, 2019.
 
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 2104 passed the Senate on
  April 17, 2019, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0; and that
  the Senate concurred in House amendments on May 25, 2019, by the
  following vote: Yeas 30, Nays 0.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 2104 passed the House, with
  amendments, on May 22, 2019, by the following vote: Yeas 142,
  Nays 1, one present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor