1-1     relating to the establishment of a program in which vouchers are
 1-2     used for payment of certain services provided to persons with
 1-3     disabilities.
 1-5           SECTION 1.  Subchapter B, Chapter 531, Government Code, is
 1-6     amended by adding Sections 531.051 and 531.052 to read as follows:
 1-7           Sec. 531.051.  VOUCHER PROGRAM FOR PAYMENT OF CERTAIN
 1-8     SERVICES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES.  (a)  In this section:
 1-9                 (1)  "Consumer" means a person who receives services
1-10     under the program established by the commission under this section.
1-11                 (2)  "Personal assistance services" and "respite
1-12     services" have the meanings assigned by Section 142.001, Health and
1-13     Safety Code.
1-14           (b)  The commission shall develop and oversee the
1-15     implementation of a program in which the use of vouchers is
1-16     established as a payment option for the delivery of certain
1-17     state-funded and Medicaid-funded services to persons with
1-18     disabilities.
1-19           (c)  In adopting rules for the voucher payment program, the
1-20     commission shall:
1-21                 (1)  ensure that the program includes the:
1-22                       (A)  delivery to persons with disabilities of
1-23     personal assistance services, respite services, supported
1-24     employment services, and other services that the commission with
 2-1     assistance from the work group established under Section 531.052,
 2-2     determines are appropriate and applicable and may be provided with
 2-3     available funding; and
 2-4                       (B)  provision of durable medical equipment and
 2-5     assistive technology to persons with disabilities to the extent
 2-6     funds are available for that purpose;
 2-7                 (2)  work in conjunction with the comptroller and
 2-8     appropriate health and human services agencies to develop the
 2-9     program;
2-10                 (3)  design the program in a manner in which, for
2-11     certain programs considered appropriate by the commission, with
2-12     assistance from the work group established under Section 531.052, a
2-13     private entity or local governmental entity applies with and is
2-14     approved by the Internal Revenue Service to act as the agent for a
2-15     consumer for the limited purpose of:
2-16                       (A)  computing federal and state employment
2-17     taxes;
2-18                       (B)  preparing and filing income tax forms and
2-19     reports; and
2-20                       (C)  distributing money to a service provider
2-21     after a deduction for employment taxes;
2-22                 (4)  ensure that the program is designed to comply with
2-23     federal and state tax laws;
2-24                 (5)  ensure that a consumer is the employer of and
2-25     retains control over the selection, management, and dismissal of an
2-26     individual providing health care services covered by the program;
 3-1                 (6)  establish a system to ensure that a potential
 3-2     consumer has adequate and appropriate information, including the
 3-3     responsibilities of a consumer under each payment option, to make
 3-4     an informed choice among the payment options;
 3-5                 (7)  require each consumer to sign a statement
 3-6     acknowledging receipt of the information required by Subdivision
 3-7     (6);
 3-8                 (8)  develop a system to monitor the program to ensure:
 3-9                       (A)  adherence to existing applicable program
3-10     standards;
3-11                       (B)  appropriate use of funds; and
3-12                       (C)  consumer satisfaction with the delivery of
3-13     services;
3-14                 (9)  ensure that a consumer may contract with a service
3-15     provider acting as the consumer's agent under Subdivision (3) to
3-16     obtain any necessary services, including services not being
3-17     provided to the consumer under the program; and
3-18                 (10)  work in conjunction with the work group
3-19     established under Section 531.052 to set a timetable to implement
3-20     and complete the program.
3-21           (d)  The voucher payment program developed under this section
3-22     may be implemented only in appropriate programs of the Texas
3-23     Department of Human Services, the Texas Department of Mental Health
3-24     and Mental Retardation, the Texas Rehabilitation Commission, and
3-25     the Texas Department of Health.
3-26           (e)  Each health and human services agency in which the
 4-1     voucher payment program is implemented and the comptroller shall
 4-2     provide information to the commission as necessary to facilitate
 4-3     the development and implementation of the program.
 4-4           Sec. 531.052.  VOUCHER PAYMENT PROGRAM WORK GROUP.  (a)  A
 4-5     work group is created to assist the commission in developing and
 4-6     implementing the voucher payment program under Section 531.051.
 4-7           (b)  The work group is composed of:
 4-8                 (1)  representatives of the commission, appointed by
 4-9     the commissioner;
4-10                 (2)  representatives of the Texas Department of Human
4-11     Services, appointed by the commissioner of that agency;
4-12                 (3)  representatives of the Texas Department of Mental
4-13     Health and Mental Retardation, appointed by the commissioner of
4-14     that agency;
4-15                 (4)  representatives of the Texas Department of Health,
4-16     appointed by the commissioner of that agency;
4-17                 (5)  representatives of the Texas Rehabilitation
4-18     Commission, appointed by the commissioner of that agency;
4-19                 (6)  consumers of services provided under the voucher
4-20     payment pilot project under Section 22.0325, Human Resources Code,
4-21     jointly appointed by the commissioner and the commissioner of the
4-22     Texas Department of Human Services;
4-23                 (7)  persons with disabilities, including persons with
4-24     mental illness and persons with mental retardation, who are
4-25     consumers or potential consumers of services provided under the
4-26     voucher payment program, appointed by the commissioner;
 5-1                 (8)  advocates for persons with disabilities, including
 5-2     persons with mental illness and persons with mental retardation,
 5-3     appointed by the commissioner; and
 5-4                 (9)  providers of services to be provided under the
 5-5     voucher payment program, appointed by the commissioner.
 5-6           (c)  A majority of the members of the work group must be
 5-7     composed of consumers, advocates, or providers described by
 5-8     Subsection (b).
 5-9           (d)  A member of the work group serves at the will of the
5-10     appointing agency and receives no additional compensation for
5-11     serving on the work group.
5-12           (e)  The commissioner shall appoint a member of the work
5-13     group to serve as presiding officer, and members of the work group
5-14     shall elect any other necessary officers.  The work group shall
5-15     meet at the call of the presiding officer.
5-16           (f)  The work group is not subject to Chapter 2110.
5-17           (g)  This section expires September 1, 2003.
5-18           SECTION 2.  As soon as practicable after the effective date
5-19     of this Act, the Health and Human Services Commission shall develop
5-20     outcome measures to determine the cost-effectiveness of the voucher
5-21     payment program required by Section 531.051, Government Code, as
5-22     added by this Act.  The commission shall submit to the legislature
5-23     a report on its findings and recommendations not later than
5-24     September 1, 2002.
5-25           SECTION 3.  If before implementing Section 531.051,
5-26     Government Code, as added by this Act, the Health and Human
 6-1     Services Commission or another state agency determines that a
 6-2     waiver or authorization from a federal agency is necessary for
 6-3     implementation, the commission or other state agency shall request
 6-4     the waiver or authorization, and may delay implementing that
 6-5     provision until the waiver or authorization is granted.
 6-6           SECTION 4.  The importance of this legislation and the
 6-7     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
 6-8     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
 6-9     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
6-10     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended,
6-11     and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its
6-12     passage, and it is so enacted.
         _______________________________     _______________________________
             President of the Senate              Speaker of the House
               I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1586 passed the Senate on
         May 3, 1999, by the following vote:  Yeas 30, Nays 0.
                                                 Secretary of the Senate
               I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1586 passed the House on
         May 25, 1999, by the following vote:  Yeas 145, Nays 0, two present
         not voting.
                                                 Chief Clerk of the House