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                                                                  H.B. No. 2604




AN ACT
relating to state-funded job training or employment assistance programs, services, and preferences available to veterans. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. Subchapter A, Chapter 302, Labor Code, is amended by adding Section 302.014 to read as follows: Sec. 302.014. JOB TRAINING OR EMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS, SERVICES, AND PREFERENCES AVAILABLE TO VETERANS. (a) In this section, "veteran" has the meaning assigned by Section 657.002(c), Government Code. (b) A veteran qualifies for a preference under this section if the veteran qualifies for a veteran's employment preference under Section 657.002(a), Government Code. (c) In selecting applicants to receive training or assistance under a job training or employment assistance program or service that is funded wholly or partly with state money, preference must be given to a veteran who: (1) qualifies for a preference under Subsection (b); and (2) meets any minimum eligibility requirements to participate or enroll in the program or receive the service. (d) The Texas Veterans Commission shall operate programs in this state to enhance the employment opportunities of veterans of the armed forces of the United States, including the employment program funded under 38 U.S.C. Chapters 41 and 42. The programs must exclusively enhance the employment opportunities of eligible veterans, and the services provided under those programs must be provided by state employees. A state employee providing services under a program may only provide services to veterans. SECTION 2. Section 302.021(b), Labor Code, is amended to read as follows: (b) In addition to the programs consolidated under the authority of the commission under Subsection (a), the commission shall administer: (1) [programs in this state to enhance the employment opportunities of veterans of the armed services of the United States, including the employment program funded under Chapters 41 and 42, Title 38, United States Code; [(2)] child-care services provided under Chapter 44, Human Resources Code; and (2) [(3)] programs established in this state through federal funding to conduct full service career development centers and school-to-work transition services. SECTION 3. Section 302.062(g), Labor Code, is amended to read as follows: (g) Block grant funding under this section does not apply to: (1) the work and family policies program under Chapter 81; (2) a program under the skills development fund created under Chapter 303; (3) the job counseling program for displaced homemakers under Chapter 304; (4) the Communities In Schools program under Subchapter E, Chapter 33, Education Code, to the extent that funds are available to the commission for that program; (5) the reintegration of offenders program under Chapter 306; (6) apprenticeship programs under Chapter 133, Education Code; (7) the continuity of care program under Section 501.095, Government Code; (8) employment programs under Chapter 31, Human Resources Code; (9) the senior citizens employment program under Chapter 101, Human Resources Code; (10) the programs described by Section 302.021(b)(2) [302.021(b)(3)]; (11) the community service program under the National and Community Service Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Section 12501 et seq.); (12) the trade adjustment assistance program under Part 2, Subchapter II, Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. Section 2271 et seq.); (13) the programs to enhance the employment opportunities of veterans; and (14) the functions of the State Occupational Information Coordinating Committee. SECTION 4. If Sections 302.014(b) and (c), Labor Code, as added by this Act, conflict with federal law or a limitation provided by a federal grant, Sections 302.014(b) and (c), Labor Code, as added by this Act, are void and have no effect. SECTION 5. (a) Not later than October 1, 2005, the Texas Veterans Commission and the Texas Workforce Commission shall establish a transition team to transfer the veterans employment programs from the Texas Workforce Commission to the Texas Veterans Commission. The transition team shall consist of a commissioner and an employee of each agency and representatives from other agencies that the veterans commission and workforce commission determine are necessary to accomplish the transition of the veterans employment programs. (b) The Texas Veterans Commission and the Texas Workforce Commission shall enter into a memorandum of understanding to transfer the veterans employment programs of the Texas Workforce Commission to the Texas Veterans Commission. The memorandum of understanding must provide for the transfer of all powers, duties, obligations, rights, contracts, leases, records, employees, real or personal property, and unspent and unobligated appropriations and other funds of the Texas Workforce Commission that are necessary to accomplish the transfer of the veterans employment programs under this Act to the Texas Veterans Commission. The transition shall be completed not later than October 1, 2006. (c) The transfer of the veterans employment programs from the Texas Workforce Commission to the Texas Veterans Commission does not affect the validity of a right, privilege, or obligation accrued, a contract or acquisition made, any liability incurred, a permit or license issued, a penalty, forfeiture, or punishment assessed, a rule adopted, a proceeding, investigation, or remedy begun, a decision made, or other action taken by the Texas Workforce Commission in connection with the veterans employment programs. (d) All rules, policies, procedures, and decisions of the Texas Workforce Commission relating to the veterans employment programs transferred to the Texas Veterans Commission by this Act are continued in effect as rules, policies, procedures, and decisions of the Texas Veterans Commission until superseded by a rule or other appropriate action of the Texas Veterans Commission. (e) Until the date the veterans employment programs are transferred to the Texas Veterans Commission as provided by this Act, the Texas Workforce Commission shall continue to exercise the powers and perform the duties relating to the veterans employment programs assigned to the Texas Workforce Commission under the law as it existed immediately before the effective date of this Act or, if applicable, as modified by another Act of the 79th Legislature that becomes law, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose. SECTION 6. This Act takes effect September 1, 2005. ______________________________ ______________________________ President of the Senate Speaker of the House I certify that H.B. No. 2604 was passed by the House on April 21, 2005, by a non-record vote; that the House refused to concur in Senate amendments to H.B. No. 2604 on May 26, 2005, and requested the appointment of a conference committee to consider the differences between the two houses; and that the House adopted the conference committee report on H.B. No. 2604 on May 29, 2005, by a non-record vote. ______________________________ Chief Clerk of the House I certify that H.B. No. 2604 was passed by the Senate, with amendments, on May 23, 2005, by the following vote: Yeas 28, Nays 3; at the request of the House, the Senate appointed a conference committee to consider the differences between the two houses; and that the Senate adopted the conference committee report on H.B. No. 2604 on May 29, 2005, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0. ______________________________ Secretary of the Senate APPROVED: __________________ Date __________________ Governor