H.B. No. 867
  relating to the establishment and operation of the Texas Women
  Veterans Program.
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 434, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Subchapter E to read as follows:
         Sec. 434.201.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
               (1)  "Commission" means the Texas Veterans Commission.
               (2)  "Executive director" means the executive director
  of the commission.
               (3)  "Program" means the Texas Women Veterans Program.
               (4)  "Woman veteran" means a woman who:
                     (A)  served on active duty in the armed forces of
  the United States or in the Texas National Guard on federal active
  duty under Title 10, United States Code; and
                     (B)  was discharged or released from that service
  under conditions other than dishonorable.
  (a) The Texas Women Veterans Program is established in the
  commission. The program is attached to the office of the executive
  director for administrative purposes.
         (b)  The mission of the program is to ensure that the women
  veterans of this state have equitable access to federal and state
  veterans' benefits and services.
         Sec. 434.203.  COORDINATOR. The executive director shall
  designate a women veterans coordinator for this state.
         Sec. 434.204.  GENERAL PROGRAM DUTIES. The program shall:
               (1)  provide assistance to the women veterans of this
  state as provided by this subchapter;
               (2)  perform outreach functions to improve the
  awareness of women veterans of their eligibility for federal and
  state veterans' benefits and services;
               (3)  assess the needs of women veterans with respect to
  benefits and services;
               (4)  review programs, research projects, and other
  initiatives designed to address the needs of the women veterans of
  this state;
               (5)  make recommendations to the executive director
  regarding the improvement of benefits and services to women
  veterans; and
               (6)  incorporate issues concerning women veterans in
  commission planning regarding veterans' benefits and services.
         Sec. 434.205.  ADVOCACY AND PUBLIC AWARENESS. (a) The
  program shall advocate for women veterans and work to increase
  public awareness about the gender-specific needs of women veterans.
         (b)  The program shall recommend legislative initiatives and
  the development of policies on the local, state, and national
  levels to address the issues affecting women veterans.
         Sec. 434.206.  COLLABORATION. The program shall collaborate
  with federal, state, county, municipal, and private agencies that
  provide services to women veterans.
  The program shall monitor and research issues relating to women
         (b)  The program shall disseminate information regarding
  opportunities for women veterans throughout the network of entities
  with which the program collaborates.
         Sec. 434.208.  EDUCATION. Through conferences, seminars,
  and training workshops with federal, state, county, municipal, and
  private agencies, the program shall provide guidance and direction
  to a woman veteran who is applying for grants, benefits, or
         Sec. 434.209.  HONOR AND RECOGNITION. The program shall
  promote events and activities that recognize and honor the women
  veterans of this state and women who serve in the military.
         Sec. 434.210.  FACILITIES. To the extent funding is
  available for that purpose, the program shall provide facilities as
  appropriate in support of the program.
         Sec. 434.211.  FUNDING; GRANTS. On behalf of the program,
  the commission may:
               (1)  accept and spend funds:
                     (A)  appropriated to the commission for the
  operation of the program; and
                     (B)  received from other sources, including
  donations and grants; and
               (2)  provide matching grants to assist in the
  implementation of the program's goals and objectives.
         SECTION 2.  Section 434.017(e), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (e)  To carry out any purpose of this chapter, the commission
  may solicit, accept, or refuse a gift, grant, devise, bequest of
  money, security, service, or property, including money raised or a
  service provided by a volunteer or volunteer group, to promote the
  work of the commission for any purpose related to the fund for
  veterans' assistance.  The commission may participate in the
  establishment and operation of an affiliated nonprofit
  organization that is established for the purpose of raising money
  for or providing services or other benefits to the commission or a
  program established in the commission, including the Texas Women
  Veterans Program.  A gift, grant, devise, or bequest to the fund may
  be appropriated in the same manner as other money in the fund,
  subject to the purposes provided by Subsection (c) and any
  limitation or requirement placed on the gift, grant, devise, or
  bequest by the donor or granting entity.
         SECTION 3.  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, 2015.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I certify that H.B. No. 867 was passed by the House on May 13,
  2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 122, Nays 24, 2 present, not
  Chief Clerk of the House   
         I certify that H.B. No. 867 was passed by the Senate on May
  28, 2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 29, Nays 1.
  Secretary of the Senate    
  APPROVED:  _____________________