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  H.B. No. 2120
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the operation of the unemployment compensation system
  and computation of an individual's unemployment compensation
  benefits; providing a criminal penalty.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 207.002, Labor Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsections (a-1) and (a-2) to
  read as follows:
         (a)  An eligible individual who is totally unemployed in a
  benefit period is entitled to benefits for the benefit period at the
  rate of 1/25 of the wages received by the individual from
  employment by employers during that quarter in the individual's
  base period in which wages were highest. For purposes of this
  subsection, the wages received by the individual from employment by
  employers during the individual's base period include wages ordered
  to be paid to the individual by a final order of the commission
  under Chapter 61 that:
               (1)  were due to be paid to the individual by an
  employer during the individual's base period; and
               (2)  will be credited to the date or dates on which the
  payment of those wages was due.
         (a-1)  The commission by rule shall determine the method of
  crediting wages to a particular quarter for purposes of Subsection
  (a).
         (a-2)  The rate of benefits paid under this section may not
  be more than the maximum weekly benefit amount computed under
  Subsection (b) or less than the minimum weekly benefit amount
  computed under Subsection (b) for each benefit period.
         SECTION 2.  Section 207.004, Labor Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (a-1) to read as
  follows:
         (a)  The commission shall credit as benefit wage credits
  during an individual's base period:
               (1)  [an individual's] wages the individual received
  for employment from an employer during the individual's base
  period; and
               (2)  wages ordered to be paid by a final order issued by
  the commission under Chapter 61 that:
                     (A)  were due to be paid by an employer during the
  individual's base period; and
                     (B)  will be credited to the date or dates on which
  the payment of those wages was due [as the individual's benefit wage
  credits].
         (a-1)  The commission by rule shall determine the method of
  crediting wages to an individual's base period for purposes of
  Subsection (a).
         SECTION 3.  Sections 301.081(c) and (d), Labor Code, are
  amended to read as follows:
         (c)  Employment information [thus] obtained or otherwise
  secured under this section may not be published and is not open to
  public inspection, other than to a public employee in the
  performance of public duties, except as the commission considers
  necessary for the proper administration of this title or as
  provided by commission rule and consistent with federal law.
         (d)  A person commits an offense if the person [is an
  employee or member of the commission who] violates any provision of
  this section. An offense under this subsection is a Class A
  misdemeanor [is punishable by a fine of not less than $20 nor more
  than $200, confinement in jail for not more than 90 days, or both
  fine and confinement].
         SECTION 4.  Subchapter F, Chapter 301, Labor Code, is
  amended by adding Section 301.085 to read as follows:
         Sec. 301.085.  UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION INFORMATION;
  OFFENSE; PENALTY. (a) In this section, "unemployment compensation
  information" means information in the records of the commission
  that pertains to the administration of Subtitle A, including any
  information collected, received, developed, or maintained in the
  administration of unemployment compensation benefits or the
  unemployment compensation tax system.
         (b)  Consistent with federal law, the commission shall adopt
  and enforce reasonable rules governing the confidentiality,
  custody, use, preservation, and disclosure of unemployment
  compensation information. The rules must include safeguards to
  protect the confidentiality of identifying information regarding
  any individual or any past or present employer or employing unit
  contained in unemployment compensation information, including any
  information that foreseeably could be combined with other publicly
  available information to reveal identifying information regarding
  the individual, employer, or employing unit, as applicable.
         (c)  Unemployment compensation information is not public
  information for purposes of Chapter 552, Government Code.
         (d)  Unless permitted by this subchapter or commission rule,
  a person commits an offense if the person solicits, discloses,
  receives, or uses, or authorizes, permits, participates in, or
  acquiesces in another person's use of, unemployment compensation
  information that reveals:
               (1)  identifying information regarding any individual
  or past or present employer or employing unit; or
               (2)  information that foreseeably could be combined
  with other publicly available information to reveal identifying
  information regarding any individual or past or present employer or
  employing unit.
         (e)  An offense under Subsection (d) is a Class A
  misdemeanor.
         SECTION 5.  (a)  The changes in law made by this Act apply
  only to eligibility for unemployment benefits based on an
  unemployment compensation claim that is filed with the Texas
  Workforce Commission on or after the effective date of this Act. A
  claim filed before that date is governed by the law in effect on the
  date the claim was filed, and the former law is continued in effect
  for that purpose.
         (b)  The change in law made by this Act to Section
  301.081(d), Labor Code, applies only to an offense committed on or
  after the effective date of this Act. An offense committed before
  the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect at
  the time the offense was committed, and the former law is continued
  in effect for that purpose. For purposes of this section, an
  offense was committed before the effective date of this Act if any
  element of the offense was committed before that date.
         SECTION 6.  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, 2007.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 2120 was passed by the House on April
  25, 2007, by the following vote:  Yeas 141, Nays 2, 3 present, not
  voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
  No. 2120 on May 26, 2007, by the following vote:  Yeas 143, Nays 0,
  2 present, not voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 2120 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 23, 2007, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays
  0.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________
                  Date       
   
           __________________
                Governor