By: Sanford H.B. No. 3864
  relating to protection of the rights of conscience for child
  welfare services providers.
         SECTION 1.  Subtitle D, Title 2, Human Resources Code, is
  amended by adding Chapter 45 to read as follows:
         Sec. 45.001.  DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
               (1)  "Adverse action" means any action that directly or
  indirectly adversely affects the person against whom the adverse
  action is taken, places the person in a worse position than the
  person was in before the adverse action was taken, or is likely to
  deter a reasonable person from acting or refusing to act. An adverse
  action includes:
                     (A)  denying an application for, refusing to
  renew, or canceling funding;
                     (B)  declining to enter into, refusing to renew,
  or canceling a contract;
                     (C)  declining to issue, refusing to renew, or
  canceling a license;
                     (D)  terminating, suspending, demoting, or
  reassigning a person; and
                     (E)  limiting the ability of a person to engage in
  child welfare services.
               (2)  "Child welfare services" means social services
  provided to or on behalf of children, including:
                     (A)  assisting abused or neglected children;
                     (B)  counseling children or parents; 
                     (C)  promoting foster parenting; 
                     (D)  providing foster homes, residential care,
  group homes, or temporary group shelters for children; 
                     (E)  recruiting foster parents; 
                     (F)  placing children in foster homes; 
                     (G)  licensing foster homes; 
                     (H)  promoting adoption or recruiting adoptive
                     (I)  assisting adoptions or supporting adoptive
                     (J)  performing or assisting home studies; 
                     (K)  assisting kinship guardianships or kinship
                     (L)  providing family preservation services; 
                     (M)  providing family support services; and 
                     (N)  providing temporary family reunification
               (3)  "Child welfare services provider" means a person
  that provides, seeks to provide, or applies for or receives a
  contract, subcontract, grant, subgrant, or cooperative agreement
  to provide child welfare services. The person is not required to be
  engaged exclusively in child welfare services to be a child welfare
  services provider.
               (4)  "Governmental entity" means:
                     (A)  this state or a municipality or other
  political subdivision of this state; or
                     (B)  any agency of this state or of a municipality
  or other political subdivision of this state, including a
  department, bureau, board, commission, office, agency, council,
  court, and public institution of higher education.
         Sec. 45.002.  APPLICABILITY. (a) This chapter applies to any
  ordinance, rule, order, decision, practice, or other exercise of
  governmental authority.
         (b)  This chapter applies to an act of a governmental entity,
  in the exercise of governmental authority, granting or refusing to
  grant a government benefit to a child welfare services provider.
  governmental entity or any person that contracts with this state or
  operates under governmental authority to refer or place children
  for child welfare services may not discriminate or take any adverse
  action against a child welfare services provider on the basis,
  wholly or partly, that the provider:
               (1)  has declined or will decline to provide,
  facilitate, or refer a person for child welfare services that
  conflict with, or under circumstances that conflict with, the
  provider's sincerely held religious beliefs.
               (2)  provides or intends to provide children under the
  control, care, guardianship, or direction of the child welfare
  services provider with a religious education, including through
  placing the children in a private or parochial school or otherwise
  providing a religious education in accordance with the laws of this
  state; or
               (3)  has declined or will decline to provide,
  facilitate, or refer a person for abortions, contraceptives, or
  drugs, devices, or services that are potentially
         Sec. 45.004.  PRIVATE RIGHT OF ACTION. A child welfare
  services provider may assert an actual or threatened violation of
  this chapter as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative
  proceeding and obtain the relief specified in Section 45.005.
         Sec. 45.005.  REMEDIES. A child welfare services provider
  who successfully asserts a claim or defense under this chapter is
  entitled to recover:
               (1)  declaratory relief;
               (2)  injunctive relief to prevent the threatened or
  continued adverse action or effects of the action on the child
  welfare services provider;
               (3)  compensatory damages for pecuniary and
  nonpecuniary losses;
               (4)  punitive damages; and
               (5)  reasonable attorney's fees, court costs, and other
  reasonable expenses.
         Sec. 45.006.  TWO-YEAR LIMITATIONS PERIOD. A child welfare
  services provider must bring an action to assert a claim for damages
  under this chapter not later than the second anniversary of the date
  the provider actually knew of the violation of this chapter.
         Sec. 45.007.  IMMUNITY WAIVED. (a) Sovereign, governmental,
  and qualified immunity to suit and from liability are waived and
  abolished to the extent of liability created by Section 45.005, and
  a claimant may sue a governmental entity or official for damages
  allowed by that section.
         (b)  Notwithstanding Subsection (a), this chapter does not
  waive or abolish sovereign immunity to suit and from liability
  under the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution.
         Sec. 45.008.  EFFECT ON RIGHTS. (a) This chapter may not be
  construed to authorize a governmental entity to burden a person's
  free exercise of religion.
         (b)  The protections of religious freedom afforded by this
  chapter are in addition to the protections provided under federal
  or state law and the constitutions of this state and the United
         (c)  This chapter may not be construed to supersede any law
  of this state that is equally as protective of religious beliefs as,
  or more protective of religious beliefs than, this chapter.
         (d)  This chapter may not be considered to narrow the meaning
  or application of any other law protecting religious beliefs.
         Sec. 45.009.  INTERPRETATION. This chapter shall be
  liberally construed to effectuate its remedial and deterrent
         SECTION 2.  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.