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  S.B. No. 908
  relating to the continuation and functions of the State Office of
  Risk Management.
         SECTION 1.  Section 412.011, Labor Code, is amended by
  adding Subsections (f), (g), (h), and (i) to read as follows:
         (f)  The office shall work with each state agency to develop
  an agency-level business continuity plan under Section 412.054.
         (g)  The office shall make available to each agency subject
  to Section 412.054 guidelines and models for each element listed in
  Section 412.054. The office shall assist the agency as necessary to
  ensure that:
               (1)  agency staff understands each element of the
  business continuity plan developed under Section 412.054; and
               (2)  each agency practices implementation of the plan.
         (h)  The office and the Texas Building and Procurement
  Commission shall adopt a memorandum of understanding that:
               (1)  includes the type, amount, and frequency of
  safety-related information that may be shared between the office
  and the commission; and
               (2)  designates points of contact within the office and
  the commission to coordinate the sharing of information.
         (i)  The office shall:
               (1)  maintain a system to promptly and efficiently act
  on complaints filed with the office;
               (2)  maintain information about parties to the
  complaint, the subject matter of the complaint, a summary of the
  results of the review or investigation of the complaint, and
  disposition of the complaint;
               (3)  make information available describing the office's
  procedures for complaint investigation and resolution; and
               (4)  periodically notify the complaint parties of the
  status of the complaint until final disposition.
         SECTION 2.  Subchapter B, Chapter 412, Labor Code, is
  amended by adding Sections 412.0125 through 412.0129 to read as
  MANAGEMENT. (a)  The office shall provide each state agency with
  return-to-work coordination services as necessary to facilitate an
  injured employee's return to employment. The office shall notify
  each state agency of the availability of return-to-work
  coordination services.
         (b)  As part of return-to-work coordination services under
  this section, the office shall:
               (1)  establish a time frame for case management of an
  injured employee that ensures services are provided to the injured
  employee as soon as practicable to improve the employee's chance of
  returning to work as quickly as possible;
               (2)  provide guidance to each state agency to identify
  appropriate services for an injured employee;
               (3)  adopt rules that set standards and provide
  guidance to a state agency interacting with an injured employee;
               (4)  implement any other services provided under
  Section 413.021 that will facilitate the reintegration of an
  injured employee.
         Sec. 412.0126.  ANALYSIS. (a)  The board shall adopt rules
  as necessary to collect data on lost time and return-to-work
  outcomes of each state agency to allow full evaluations of
  successes and of barriers to achieving timely return to work after
  an injury.
         (b)  The office shall:
               (1)  collect and analyze data from each state agency
  regarding lost time, including sick leave and annual leave used by
  an injured employee;
               (2)  identify state agencies that need additional
  training or case management services related to return-to-work
               (3)  modify as necessary the office's assessment
  computation to encourage state agencies to effectively reduce
  workers' compensation costs;
               (4)  incorporate as necessary return-to-work goals
  developed by the division of workers' compensation under Section
               (5)  work with the workers' compensation research and
  evaluation group to develop analytical tools to assist the office
  with its duties under this section;
               (6)  require state agencies to report information in a
  standardized format;
               (7)  monitor the information reported by each state
  agency; and
               (8)  evaluate the information provided under this
  section to determine outcomes over time for each state agency.
  (a)  Notwithstanding Section 403.016, Government Code, and except
  as provided by Subsection (b), the office shall pay an employee
  entitled to an indemnity benefit payment using the same payment
  method as the method by which the employee receives the employee's
         (b)  The office shall adopt rules to facilitate the use of
  electronic funds transfer as the preferred method of payment under
  this section.
         (c)  The office may issue an indemnity benefit payment by
  check on request or if electronic funds transfer is not feasible.
  Information in or derived from a workers' compensation claim file
  regarding an employee is confidential and may not be disclosed by
  the office except as provided by this subchapter or other law.
         Sec. 412.0129.  STUDY ON CATASTROPHIC CLAIMS. (a)  The
  office shall study options to prepare state agencies for
  catastrophic claims.
         (b)  The study must include information on:
               (1)  establishing a state employee workers'
  compensation catastrophe fund outside the state treasury;
               (2)  purchasing catastrophe reinsurance; and
               (3)  other options to prepare the state for
  catastrophic claims.
         (c)  In performing duties under Subsections (a) and (b), the
               (1)  shall work with the workers' compensation research
  and evaluation group; and
               (2)  may contract with a consultant to:
                     (A)  analyze predicted costs of potential
  disasters; and
                     (B)  estimate the appropriate size for a
  catastrophe fund or level of reinsurance.
         (d)  Not later than September 1, 2008, the office shall
  report the findings of the study conducted under this section to the
  lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house of representatives,
  and the appropriate standing committees of the house of
  representatives and senate with responsibility for oversight of the
         (e)  This section expires September 2, 2008.
         SECTION 3.  Section 412.021, Labor Code, is amended by
  adding Subsections (a-1), (g), and (h) and amending Subsections (d)
  and (f) to read as follows:
         (a-1)  A person may not be a member of the board if the person
  or the person's spouse:
               (1)  is employed by or participates in the management
  of a business entity or other organization regulated by or
  receiving money from the office;
               (2)  owns or controls, directly or indirectly, more
  than a 10 percent interest in a business entity or other
  organization regulated by or receiving money from the office; or
               (3)  uses or receives a substantial amount of tangible
  goods, services, or money from the office other than compensation
  or reimbursement authorized by law for risk management board
  membership, attendance, or expenses.
         (d)  The governor shall designate one member of the board as
  presiding officer. The presiding officer shall serve in that
  capacity at the pleasure of the governor [for a two-year term].
         (f)  The risk management board and the office are [is]
  subject to Chapter 325, Government Code (Texas Sunset Act).  Unless
  continued in existence as provided by that chapter, the board is
  abolished and this section expires September 1, 2019 [2007].
         (g)  Appointments to the board shall be made without regard
  to the race, color, disability, sex, religion, age, or national
  origin of the appointee.
         (h)  The board shall develop and implement policies that
  clearly separate the policymaking responsibilities of the board and
  the management responsibilities of the director and the staff of
  the risk management office.
         SECTION 4.  Section 412.022, Labor Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         Sec. 412.022.  TRAINING PROGRAM FOR BOARD MEMBERS.  (a)  A
  person who is appointed to and qualifies for office as a member of
  the board may not vote, deliberate, or be counted as a member in
  attendance at a meeting of the board until the person completes a
  training program that complies with this section [To be eligible to
  take office as a member of the board, a person appointed to the
  board must complete at least one course of a training program that
  complies with this section. If the course has not been completed at
  the time of the appointment, the training program is to be completed
  within six months from the date of appointment, failure of which
  constitutes grounds for removal from the board].
         (b)  A training program established under this section must
  provide information to the member regarding:
               (1)  the enabling legislation that created the office
  and the office's programs, functions, rules, and budget [board];
               (2)  the results of the most recent formal audit of the
  office [program operated by the board];
               (3)  the requirements of laws relating to open
  meetings, public information, administrative procedure, and
  conflicts of interest [role and functions of the board]; and
               (4)  [the rules of the board, with an emphasis on the
  rules that relate to disciplinary and investigatory authority;
               [(5)  the current budget for the board;
               [(6)     the results of the most recent formal audit of the
               [(7)  the requirements of:
                     [(A)     the open meetings law, Chapter 551,
  Government Code;
                     [(B)     the public information law, Chapter 552,
  Government Code; and
                     [(C)     the administrative procedure law, Chapter
  2001, Government Code;
               [(8)     the requirements of the conflict of interest laws
  and other laws relating to public officials; and
               [(9)]  any applicable ethics policies adopted by the
  office [board] or the Texas Ethics Commission.
         (c)  A person appointed to the board is entitled to
  reimbursement, as provided by the General Appropriations Act, for
  the travel expenses incurred in attending the training program
  regardless of whether the attendance at the program occurs before
  or after the person qualifies for office.
         SECTION 5.  Section 412.023, Labor Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         Sec. 412.023.  EFFECT OF LOBBYING ACTIVITY. (a)  In this
  section, "Texas trade association" means a cooperative and
  voluntarily joined statewide association of business or
  professional competitors in this state designed to assist its
  members and its industry or profession in dealing with mutual
  business or professional problems and in promoting their common
         (b)  A person may not be a member of the board and may not be
  an employee of the office employed in a "bona fide executive,
  administrative, or professional capacity," as that phrase is used
  for purposes of establishing an exemption to the overtime
  provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29
  U.S.C. Section 201 et seq.) if:
               (1)  the person is an officer, employee, or paid
  consultant of a Texas trade association in the field of insurance or
  health care; or
               (2)  the person's spouse is an officer, manager, or paid
  consultant of a Texas trade association in the field of insurance or
  health care.
         (c)  A person may not serve as a member of the board or act as
  the general counsel to the board if the person is required to
  register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305, Government Code, because
  of the person's activities for compensation on behalf of a
  profession related to the operation of the office [that is
  regulated by or that has fees regulated by the board].
         SECTION 6.  Section 412.024, Labor Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (a-1) to read as
         (a)  It is a ground for removal from the board if a member:
               (1)  does not have at the time of taking office
  [appointment] the qualifications required by [for appointment to
  the board other than the requirements of] Section 412.021 
               (2)  does not maintain during service on the board the
  qualifications required by Section 412.021 [for appointment to the
               (3)  is ineligible for membership under Section 412.021
  or [violates a prohibition established by Section] 412.023;
               (4)  cannot because of illness or incapacity discharge
  the member's duties for a substantial part of the member's term [for
  which the member is appointed]; or
               (5)  is absent from more than half of the regularly
  scheduled board meetings that the member is eligible to attend
  during a calendar year without an excuse approved by a majority vote
  of the board.
         (a-1)  The validity of an action of the board is not affected
  by the fact that it is taken when a ground for removal of a board
  member exists.
         SECTION 7.  Subchapter C, Chapter 412, Labor Code, is
  amended by adding Section 412.027 to read as follows:
         Sec. 412.027.  USE OF TECHNOLOGY. The board shall implement
  a policy requiring the office to use appropriate technological
  solutions to improve the office's ability to perform its functions.
  The policy must ensure that the public is able to interact with the
  office on the Internet.
         SECTION 8.  Section 412.032, Labor Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         Sec. 412.032.  BOARD'S REPORT TO LEGISLATURE.  (a)  Based on
  the recommendations of the director, the board shall report to each
  legislature relating to:
               (1)  methods to reduce the exposure of state agencies
  to the risks of property and liability losses, including workers'
  compensation losses;
               (2)  the operation, financing, and management of those
  risks; [and]
               (3)  the handling of claims brought against the state;
               (4)  return-to-work outcomes under Section 412.0126
  for each state agency; and
               (5)  the business continuity plan developed by state
  agencies under Section 412.054.
         (b)  The report must include:
               (1)  the frequency, severity, and aggregate amount of
  open and closed claims in the preceding biennium by category of
  risk, including final judgments;
               (2)  the identification of each state agency that has
  not complied with the risk management guidelines and reporting
  requirements of this chapter; [and]
               (3)  recommendations for the coordination and
  administration of a comprehensive risk management program to serve
  all state agencies, including recommendations for any necessary
  statutory changes;
               (4)  a report of outcomes by state agency of lost time
  due to employee injury and return-to-work programs based on the
  information collected and analyzed by the office in Section
  412.0126; and
               (5)  an evaluation of business continuity plans
  developed by state agencies under Section 412.054 for completeness
  and viability.
         SECTION 9.  Subchapter D, Chapter 412, Labor Code, is
  amended by adding Section 412.034 to read as follows:
         Sec. 412.034.  PUBLIC HEARING. The board shall develop and
  implement policies that provide the public with a reasonable
  opportunity to appear before the board and to speak on any issue
  under the jurisdiction of the office.
         SECTION 10.  Subchapter D, Chapter 412, Labor Code, is
  amended by adding Section 412.035 to read as follows:
         Sec. 412.035.  DISPUTE RESOLUTION. (a)  The board shall
  develop and implement a policy to encourage the use of:
               (1)  negotiated rulemaking procedures under Chapter
  2008, Government Code, for the adoption of office rules; and
               (2)  appropriate alternative dispute resolution
  procedures under Chapter 2009, Government Code, to assist in the
  resolution of internal and external disputes under the office's
         (b)  The office's procedures relating to alternative dispute
  resolution must conform, to the extent possible, to any model
  guidelines issued by the State Office of Administrative Hearings
  for the use of alternative dispute resolution by state agencies.
         (c)  The board shall designate a trained person to:
               (1)  coordinate the implementation of the policy
  adopted under Subsection (a);
               (2)  serve as a resource for any training needed to
  implement the procedures for negotiated rulemaking or alternative
  dispute resolution; and
               (3)  collect data concerning the effectiveness of those
  procedures, as implemented by the office.
         SECTION 11.  Subchapter F, Chapter 412, Labor Code, is
  amended by adding Section 412.054 to read as follows:
         Sec. 412.054.  BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLAN. (a)  Each state
  agency shall work with the office to develop an agency-level
  business continuity plan that outlines procedures to keep the
  agency operational in case of disruptions to production, finance,
  administration, or other essential operations. The plan must
  include detailed information regarding resumption of essential
  services after a catastrophe, including:
               (1)  coordination with public authorities;
               (2)  management of media;
               (3)  customer service delivery;
               (4)  assessing immediate financial and operational
  needs; and
               (5)  other services as determined by the office.
         (b)  A business continuity plan is considered to meet the
  requirements of this section if the agency forwards the plan to the
  office for review and the agency is:
               (1)  involved in the delivery of emergency services as
  a member of the governor's Emergency Management Council; or
               (2)  part of the State Data Center program.
         SECTION 12.  Section 417.0082, Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
  AGAINST FIRE HAZARDS.  (a)  The state fire marshal, under the
  direction of the commissioner, shall take any action necessary to
  protect a public building under the charge and control of the Texas
  Building and Procurement [General Services] Commission, and the
  building's occupants, against an existing or threatened fire
  hazard. The state fire marshal and the Texas Building and
  Procurement Commission shall include the State Office of Risk
  Management in all communication concerning fire hazards.
         (b)  The commissioner, [and] the Texas Building and
  Procurement Commission, and the risk management board [General
  Services Commission] shall make and each adopt by rule a memorandum
  of understanding that coordinates the agency's duties under this
         SECTION 13.  A state agency shall develop a business
  continuity plan under Section 412.054, Labor Code, as added by this
  Act, not later than May 1, 2008.
         SECTION 14.  The changes in law made by Sections 412.021,
  412.022, and 412.023, Labor Code, as amended by this Act, regarding
  the prohibitions on or qualifications of members of the Risk
  Management Board do not affect the entitlement of a member serving
  on the board immediately before September 1, 2007, to continue to
  serve and function as a member of the board for the remainder of the
  member's term.  The changes in law made by those sections apply only
  to a member appointed on or after September 1, 2007.
         SECTION 15.  Section 412.0127, Labor Code, as added by this
  Act, applies to indemnity benefit payments made on or after
  February 1, 2008.
         SECTION 16.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2007.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 908 passed the Senate on
  March 28, 2007, by the following vote: Yeas 30, Nays 0; and that
  the Senate concurred in House amendment on May 17, 2007, by the
  following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0.
  Secretary of the Senate    
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 908 passed the House, with
  amendment, on May 15, 2007, by the following vote: Yeas 141,
  Nays 0, two present not voting.
  Chief Clerk of the House