This website will be unavailable from Thursday, May 30, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. through Monday, June 3, 2024 at 7:00 a.m. due to data center maintenance.

 
 
  S.B. No. 208
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the continuation and functions of the Texas Workforce
  Commission.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
  SECTION 1.  Subchapter B, Chapter 132, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Section 132.025 to read as follows:
         Sec. 132.025.  REQUIRED POSTING. To facilitate a
  prospective student's informed selection among career schools and
  colleges, the commission shall include in its searchable directory
  of career schools and colleges maintained on its Internet website
  information regarding any formal enforcement action taken by the
  commission against a school or college, including:
               (1)  any revocation of the school's or college's
  certificate of authority;
               (2)  any assessment of administrative penalties
  against the school or college; and
               (3)  any suspension of admission of students to the
  school or college.
         SECTION 2.  Section 1001.104, Education Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 1001.104.  HOSPITAL AND REHABILITATION FACILITIES.
  (a)  The agency shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with
  the state agency responsible for administering the vocational
  rehabilitation program under Subtitle C, Title 4, Labor Code,
  [Texas Rehabilitation Commission] and the department for the
  interagency development of curricula and licensing criteria for
  hospital and rehabilitation facilities that teach driver
  education.
         (b)  The agency shall administer comprehensive rules
  governing driver education courses adopted by mutual agreement
  among the agency, the state agency responsible for administering
  the vocational rehabilitation program under Subtitle C, Title 4,
  Labor Code [Texas Rehabilitation Commission], and the department.
         SECTION 3.  The heading to Section 411.104, Government Code,
  is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 411.104.  ACCESS TO CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD
  INFORMATION: TEXAS WORKFORCE COMMISSION; SECURITY SENSITIVE
  POSITIONS.
         SECTION 4.  Effective September 1, 2016, Subchapter F,
  Chapter 411, Government Code, is amended by adding Section 411.1041
  to read as follows:
         Sec. 411.1041.  ACCESS TO CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD
  INFORMATION:  TEXAS WORKFORCE COMMISSION; VOCATIONAL
  REHABILITATION AND OTHER SERVICES.  (a)  The Texas Workforce
  Commission, in connection with the administration of vocational
  rehabilitation services and other services and programs under
  Subtitle C, Title 4, Labor Code, is entitled to obtain from the
  department criminal history record information maintained by the
  department that relates to a person who is:
               (1)  an applicant selected for employment with the
  commission whose potential duties include direct contact with
  clients to provide those services;
               (2)  an applicant for those services from the
  commission; or
               (3)  a client receiving those services from the
  commission.
         (b)  Criminal history record information obtained by the
  commission under Subsection (a) may not be released or disclosed to
  any person except on court order or with the written consent of the
  person who is the subject of the criminal history record
  information.
         SECTION 5.  Section 2308.3155(b), Government Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (b)  The commission shall adopt rules to administer the Texas
  Rising Star Program, including:
               (1)  guidelines for rating a child-care provider who
  provides child care to a child younger than 13 years of age,
  including infants and toddlers, enrolled in the subsidized program;
  and
               (2)  a timeline and process for regularly reviewing and
  updating the quality standards used to determine the rating system
  that includes the commission's consideration of input from
  interested parties regarding those standards.
         SECTION 6.  Effective September 1, 2016, Subchapter C,
  Chapter 91, Human Resources Code, is amended by adding Section
  91.0211 to read as follows:
         Sec. 91.0211.  SERVICE DELIVERY BY TEXAS WORKFORCE
  COMMISSION. The Texas Workforce Commission has primary
  responsibility for providing vocational rehabilitation services
  and other services and programs under Subtitle C, Title 4, Labor
  Code, notwithstanding Section 91.021(a) and subject to receipt of
  any required federal approval to administer those services and
  programs.  A power or duty under this chapter, including rulemaking
  authority, of the department, the commissioner, or the executive
  commissioner that is applicable to those services or programs is a
  power or duty of the Texas Workforce Commission with respect to
  those services or programs.
         SECTION 7.  Effective September 1, 2016, Subchapter C,
  Chapter 111, Human Resources Code, is amended by adding Section
  111.0511 to read as follows:
         Sec. 111.0511.  SERVICE DELIVERY BY TEXAS WORKFORCE
  COMMISSION. The Texas Workforce Commission has primary
  responsibility for providing vocational rehabilitation services
  and other services and programs under Subtitle C, Title 4, Labor
  Code, notwithstanding Section 111.051 and subject to receipt of any
  required federal approval to administer those services and
  programs.  A power or duty under this chapter, including rulemaking
  authority, of the department, the commissioner, or the executive
  commissioner that is applicable to those services or programs is a
  power or duty of the Texas Workforce Commission with respect to
  those services or programs.  All other state agencies engaged in
  vocational rehabilitation services or related services or programs
  shall coordinate those activities with the Texas Workforce
  Commission.
         SECTION 8.  Effective September 1, 2016, Subchapter D,
  Chapter 117, Human Resources Code, is amended by adding Section
  117.0713 to read as follows:
         Sec. 117.0713.  SERVICE DELIVERY BY TEXAS WORKFORCE
  COMMISSION.  The Texas Workforce Commission has primary
  responsibility for providing vocational rehabilitation services
  and other services and programs under Subtitle C, Title 4, Labor
  Code, notwithstanding Section 117.071 and subject to receipt of any
  required federal approval to administer those services and
  programs.  A power or duty under this chapter, including rulemaking
  authority, of the department, the commissioner, or the executive
  commissioner that is applicable to those services or programs is a
  power or duty of the Texas Workforce Commission with respect to
  those services or programs.
         SECTION 9.  Section 21.0015, Labor Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         Sec. 21.0015.  TEXAS WORKFORCE COMMISSION [CIVIL RIGHTS
  DIVISION].  The powers and duties exercised by the Commission on
  Human Rights under this chapter are transferred to the Texas
  Workforce Commission [civil rights division].  A reference in this
  chapter to the "commission" means the Texas Workforce Commission
  [civil rights division].
         SECTION 10.  Section 21.206, Labor Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         Sec. 21.206.  DETERMINATION OF REASONABLE CAUSE; REVIEW BY
  COMMISSION [PANEL].  (a)  If after investigation the executive
  director or the executive director's designee determines that there
  is reasonable cause to believe that the respondent engaged in an
  unlawful employment practice as alleged in a complaint, the
  executive director or the executive director's designee shall
  review with the commission members [a panel of three commissioners]
  the evidence in the record.
         (b)  If after the review at least two of the three commission
  members [commissioners] determine that there is reasonable cause to
  believe that the respondent engaged in an unlawful employment
  practice, the executive director shall:
               (1)  issue a written determination incorporating the
  executive director's finding that the evidence supports the
  complaint; and
               (2)  serve a copy of the determination on the
  complainant, the respondent, and other agencies as required by law.
         SECTION 11.  Section 21.453, Labor Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (a-1) to read as
  follows:
         (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (a-1), the [The]
  commission shall review the personnel policies and procedures of
  each state agency on a six-year cycle to determine whether the
  policies and procedures comply with this chapter.
         (a-1)  The commission by rule shall develop risk-assessment
  criteria for determining the circumstances under which the
  commission may conduct a review of the personnel policies and
  procedures of a state agency more frequently than required by
  Subsection (a).  The risk-assessment criteria must include:
               (1)  data on complaints against a state agency;
               (2)  previous review findings; and
               (3)  any other related information collected and
  maintained by the commission.
         SECTION 12.  Section 21.455, Labor Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (d) to read as follows:
         (d)  Annually, the commission shall:
               (1)  review the reimbursements received by the
  commission under this section to ensure that the commission
  recovers the expenses described by Subsection (a); and
               (2)  adjust the reimbursement rate if, as a result of
  the most recent annual review, the commission determines that the
  reimbursement rate is higher or lower than the rate required to
  recover those expenses.
         SECTION 13.  Subchapter A, Chapter 61, Labor Code, is
  amended by adding Section 61.006 to read as follows:
         Sec. 61.006.  NOTICE LANGUAGES. The commission shall:
               (1)  make available any notice the commission is
  required to provide to an employee under this chapter in the two
  languages that are most commonly spoken in this state; and
               (2)  ensure that employees are notified of an
  employee's ability to request from the commission notice in either
  language described by Subdivision (1).
         SECTION 14.  Section 61.051, Labor Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (e) to read as follows:
         (e)  The commission shall ensure that employees are notified
  of an employee's ability to request from the commission a wage claim
  form in either language described by Section 61.006.
         SECTION 15.  Chapter 214, Labor Code, is amended by adding
  Section 214.009 to read as follows:
         Sec. 214.009.  RECOVERY OF COVERED UNEMPLOYMENT
  COMPENSATION DEBT THROUGH FEDERAL TREASURY OFFSET PROGRAM.  (a)  In
  this section, "program" means the federal Treasury Offset Program
  authorized by 26 U.S.C. Section 6402(f).
         (b)  The commission may collect the following covered
  unemployment compensation debt through the program:
               (1)  a past-due debt for erroneous payment of benefits
  due to fraud that has become final under law and remains
  uncollected;
               (2)  a past-due debt for erroneous payment of benefits
  due to a person's failure to report earnings, even if
  non-fraudulent, that has become final under law and remains
  uncollected;
               (3)  a past-due employer contribution owed to the
  compensation fund for which the commission has determined the
  person to be liable and that remains uncollected; and
               (4)  any penalties and interest assessed by the
  commission on a debt described by Subdivision (1), (2), or (3).
         (c)  Before submitting covered unemployment compensation
  debt for recovery under the program, the commission must:
               (1)  notify the debtor by regular United States mail
  that the commission plans to recover the debt through the offset of
  any federal tax refund;
               (2)  provide the debtor at least 60 days following the
  date the notice is provided under Subdivision (1) to present to the
  commission evidence that all or part of the debt is not:
                     (A)  legally enforceable;
                     (B)  due to fraud or unreported earnings; or
                     (C)  a contribution owed to the compensation fund;
  and
               (3)  consider any evidence presented by the debtor to
  determine the amount of debt that is legally enforceable and owed.
         (d)  In considering evidence presented by a debtor under
  Subsection (c), the commission may determine only whether the
  debtor has demonstrated that the debt is not subject to recovery
  through the program so that the commission is able to minimize
  erroneous offsets.  The commission may not review the initial
  determination establishing the debtor's liability.
         (e)  The commission shall assess against the debtor the cost
  of any administrative fee charged by the United States Department
  of the Treasury for each offset.  The commission may add the
  assessed amount to the covered unemployment compensation debt that
  is offset under the program.
         SECTION 16.  Section 301.006(b), Labor Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  Notwithstanding Subsection (a), the member of the
  commission who represents the public shall serve as chair:
               (1)  when the commission acts under:
                     (A)  Chapter 21;
                     (B)  Subchapter D, Chapter 61; [or]
                     (C) [(B)]  Subchapter D, Chapter 212; or
                     (D)  Chapter 301, Property Code; and
               (2)  in commission hearings involving unemployment
  insurance issues regarding tax coverage, contributions, or
  reimbursements.
         SECTION 17.  Section 301.008, Labor Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         Sec. 301.008.  APPLICATION OF SUNSET ACT. The Texas
  Workforce Commission is subject to Chapter 325, Government Code
  (Texas Sunset Act). Unless continued in existence as provided by
  that chapter, the commission is abolished September 1, 2027 [2015].
         SECTION 18.  Section 301.009(a), Labor Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  The commission shall have:
               (1)  a division of workforce development; [and]
               (2)  a division of unemployment compensation; and
               (3)  a civil rights division.
         SECTION 19.  Effective September 1, 2016, Subchapter D,
  Chapter 301, Labor Code, is amended by adding Section 301.0675 to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 301.0675.  VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND CERTAIN OTHER
  SERVICES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES. Subject to federal
  approval, if required, to administer vocational rehabilitation
  services and other services and programs to persons with
  disabilities under Subtitle C, Title 4, the commission has primary
  responsibility for providing those services and programs.
         SECTION 20.  Section 301.153, Labor Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         Sec. 301.153.  GOVERNANCE; AUTHORITY [HUMAN RIGHTS
  COMMISSION].  (a)  [The division is governed by the human rights
  commission, which consists of seven members as follows:
               [(1)  one member who represents industry;
               [(2)  one member who represents labor; and
               [(3)  five members who represent the public.
         [(b)     The members of the human rights commission established
  under this section shall be appointed by the governor.   In making
  appointments to the human rights commission, the governor shall
  strive to achieve representation on the human rights commission
  that is diverse with respect to disability, religion, age, economic
  status, sex, race, and ethnicity.
         [(c)     The term of office of each commissioner is six years.  
  The governor shall designate one commissioner to serve as presiding
  officer.
         [(d)     A commissioner is entitled to reimbursement of actual
  and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of official
  duties.
         [(e)]  The [human rights] commission shall establish
  policies for the division and the executive director shall 
  supervise the director in administering the activities of the
  division.
         (b) [(f)]  The [human rights] commission is the state
  authority established as a fair employment practice agency and is
  authorized, with respect to an unlawful employment practice, to:
               (1)  grant relief from the practice;
               (2)  seek relief from the practice; or
               (3)  institute criminal proceedings.
         (c)  The commission shall administer Chapter 21 of this code
  and Chapter 301, Property Code, including the powers and duties
  formerly exercised by the former Commission on Human Rights under
  those laws.
         (d)  A reference in Chapter 21 of this code, Chapter 301,
  Property Code, or any other law to the former Commission on Human
  Rights means the commission.
         SECTION 21.  Section 301.154(a), Labor Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  The director shall be appointed by the executive
  director [human rights commission] to administer the powers and
  duties of the division.
         SECTION 22.  Subchapter I, Chapter 301, Labor Code, is
  amended by adding Section 301.157 to read as follows:
         Sec. 301.157.  ANALYSIS OF STATE AGENCY DISCRIMINATION
  COMPLAINTS; REPORT.  (a)  Each state fiscal year, the division
  shall collect and analyze information regarding employment
  discrimination complaints, other than complaints determined to be
  without merit, filed with the division against a state agency.  The
  information must include:
               (1)  an analysis of the complaints, both by number and
  by type; and
               (2)  key findings or trends the division identifies
  during the division's review of state agency personnel policies and
  procedures under Section 21.453.
         (b)  The commission shall include the results of the
  division's analysis under this section in the commission's annual
  report to the governor and the legislature.  The division shall
  exclude from the report any identifying information of a
  complainant or a state agency complaint as necessary to maintain
  confidentiality required by the commission's contract with the
  federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or by other law.
         SECTION 23.  Section 302.0043(f), Labor Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (f)  Not later than January 15 of each odd-numbered year, the
  commission shall report to the legislature regarding the
  commission's findings regarding the effectiveness of the
  commission's child care program. The report must:
               (1)  include employment outcome information,
  disaggregated by local workforce development area, regarding
  parents receiving subsidized care under the program; and
               (2)  identify multiyear trends in the information
  collected and analyzed by the commission under this section,
  including trends in the information for at least the five state
  fiscal years preceding the date of the report.
         SECTION 24.  Subchapter A, Chapter 302, Labor Code, is
  amended by adding Section 302.00435 to read as follows:
         Sec. 302.00435.  SUBSIDIZED CHILD CARE PROGRAM; INPUT
  POLICY. The commission shall develop a policy for obtaining,
  through appropriate methods, input from interested parties
  regarding its subsidized child care program and for using that
  input in administering that program.
         SECTION 25.  Title 4, Labor Code, is amended by adding
  Subtitle C to read as follows:
  SUBTITLE C.  VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND CERTAIN OTHER SERVICES
  FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
  CHAPTER 351. GENERAL PROVISIONS; RESPONSIBILITY FOR
  ADMINISTRATION OF SERVICES
         Sec. 351.001.  DEFINITIONS. In this subtitle:
               (1)  "Department" means the Department of Assistive and
  Rehabilitative Services.
               (2)  "Executive commissioner" means the executive
  commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission.
         Sec. 351.002.  RESPONSIBILITY FOR ADMINISTRATION OF
  SERVICES AND PROGRAMS. (a)  Notwithstanding any other provision of
  this subtitle, the department shall administer the services and
  programs under this subtitle until September 1, 2016. On that date,
  the department shall cease administering the services and programs
  and the commission shall begin administering the services and
  programs, subject to receipt of any required federal approval.
         (b)  The department or commission, as appropriate, shall
  seek federal approval, if required:
               (1)  for the commission, beginning on September 1,
  2016, to administer the following services and programs under this
  subtitle that the department operated before that date under the
  federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Sections 720 through
  751):
                     (A)  the vocational rehabilitation program for
  individuals with visual impairments;
                     (B)  the vocational rehabilitation program for
  individuals with other disabilities;
                     (C)  the Independent Living Services Program for
  older individuals who are blind; and
                     (D)  the Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center;
               (2)  for the commission, beginning on September 1,
  2016, to administer the program for vending facilities operated by
  blind persons under Chapter 355, including the Business Enterprises
  Program under the Randolph-Sheppard Act (20 U.S.C. Section 107 et
  seq.), that the department operated before that date; and
               (3)  to designate within the commission the state unit
  under 29 U.S.C. Section 721 that is responsible for administering
  the state's vocational rehabilitation program.
         (c)  The Rehabilitation Council of Texas transfers to the
  commission on September 1, 2016.
         (d)  Subsections (b) and (c) and this subsection expire
  September 1, 2019.
         Sec. 351.003.  DESIGNATED STATE UNIT FOR VOCATIONAL
  REHABILITATION SERVICES.  In accordance with the requirements of
  the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Section 701 et
  seq.), the commission shall establish a designated state unit
  within the commission that:
               (1)  is an organizational unit designated to be
  primarily responsible for and concerned with vocational
  rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities;
               (2)  has a full-time director;
               (3)  has a staff employed on the rehabilitation work of
  the organizational unit, all or substantially all of whom are
  employed full-time on such work; and
               (4)  is located at an organizational level and has an
  organizational status within the commission comparable to that of
  other major organizational units of the commission.
         Sec. 351.004.  INTEGRATION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION
  PROGRAMS; PROGRAM STAFF. (a)  Not later than August 31, 2018, the
  commission shall integrate the vocational rehabilitation staff
  from department offices into the commission's local workforce
  development boards and centers.
         (b)  This section expires September 1, 2019.
         Sec. 351.005.  MEANING OF CERTAIN REFERENCES IN LAW.  Until
  the administration of this subtitle is transferred from the
  department to the commission, a reference to the commission or the
  executive director in this subtitle means the department,
  commissioner of assistive and rehabilitative services, or
  executive commissioner, as applicable.
  CHAPTER 352. VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES
  SUBCHAPTER A.  GENERAL PROVISIONS
         Sec. 352.001.  DEFINITIONS.  In this chapter:
               (1)  "Direct services" means services provided to a
  client by a commission employee, including counseling,
  facilitating the purchase of services from a source other than the
  commission, and purchasing equipment and other items and providing
  other services necessary for the client to successfully complete a
  commission program.
               (2)  "Direct services program" means a program operated
  by the commission through which direct services are provided.
               (3)  "Individual with a disability" means an individual
  who has a physical impairment, including a visual impairment, or
  mental impairment that constitutes a substantial impediment to
  employment, but that is of a nature that rehabilitation services
  may be expected to enable the individual to engage in a gainful
  occupation.
               (4)  "Maintenance" means money payments not exceeding
  the estimated cost of subsistence during vocational
  rehabilitation.
               (5)  "Occupational license" means a license, permit, or
  other written authorization required by a governmental entity as a
  condition for engaging in an occupation.
               (6)  "Physical restoration" means medical, surgical,
  or therapeutic treatment necessary to correct or substantially
  reduce a substantial impediment to employment of an individual with
  a disability within a reasonable period of time. The term includes
  medical, surgical, dental, and psychiatric treatment, nursing
  services, hospital care, convalescent home care, drugs, medical and
  surgical supplies, and prosthetic appliances. The term excludes
  treatment to cure acute or transitory conditions.
               (7)  "Prosthetic appliance" means an artificial device
  necessary to support or replace a part of the body or to increase
  the acuity of a sensory organ.
               (8)  "Rehabilitation training" means all necessary
  training provided to an individual with a disability to compensate
  for a substantial impediment to employment.  The term includes
  manual, preconditioning, prevocational, vocational, and
  supplementary training and training to achieve broader and more
  lucrative skills and capacities.
               (9)  "Substantial impediment to employment" means a
  physical or mental condition that obstructs or impairs, or if not
  corrected will probably obstruct or impair, an individual's
  performance in an occupation.
               (10)  "Vocational rehabilitation" or "vocational
  rehabilitation services" means services that are provided directly
  by the commission or through a public or private agency and that the
  commission determines are necessary to compensate an individual
  with a disability for a substantial impediment to employment so
  that the individual may engage in a remunerative occupation.  The
  terms include:
                     (A)  medical and vocational diagnosis;
                     (B)  vocational guidance, counseling, and
  placement;
                     (C)  rehabilitation training;
                     (D)  physical restoration;
                     (E)  transportation;
                     (F)  occupational licenses;
                     (G)  customary occupational tools and equipment;
                     (H)  maintenance;
                     (I)  training books and materials; and
                     (J)  other goods and services for which the
  commission receives financial support under federal law.
         Sec. 352.002.  PURPOSE. It is the policy of this state to
  provide vocational rehabilitation services to eligible individuals
  with disabilities so that those individuals may prepare for and
  engage in a gainful occupation.
         Sec. 352.003.  REHABILITATION COUNCIL OF TEXAS. (a)  The
  Rehabilitation Council of Texas operates in accordance with the
  federal Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1992, Pub. L. No. 102-569,
  and the federal Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, Pub. L. No.
  105-220.
         (b)  The Rehabilitation Council of Texas shall report to and
  advise the commission on the council's activities and the results
  of the council's work. For the purpose of performing its advisory
  functions, the council shall work with the commission, the
  executive director, and other commission staff.
         (c)  The commission shall adopt rules for the administration
  of the council.
         Sec. 352.004.  RECEIPT AND DISBURSEMENT OF STATE AND FEDERAL
  FUNDS. (a)  The comptroller is custodian of federal funds received
  by the state to implement federal law relating to vocational
  rehabilitation.
         (b)  The commission shall certify for disbursement funds
  available for the vocational rehabilitation program in accordance
  with regulations.
         (c)  The comptroller shall disburse state and federal
  vocational rehabilitation funds on certification by the
  commission.
         Sec. 352.005.  GIFTS, DONATIONS, AND OTHER MONEY. (a)  The
  commission shall deposit all money paid to the commission under
  this chapter in the state treasury. The money may be used only for
  the administration of this chapter.
         (b)  The commission may receive and use gifts and donations
  for carrying out the purposes of this chapter. A person may not
  receive payment for solicitation of any funds.
         Sec. 352.006.  MISUSE OF INFORMATION. Except for purposes
  directly connected with the administration of the vocational
  rehabilitation program and according to commission rules, no person
  may solicit, disclose, receive, use, or knowingly permit the use of
  records or other information concerning an applicant for or
  recipient of vocational rehabilitation services that is directly or
  indirectly acquired by an officer or employee of the state or its
  political subdivisions in the course of the person's official
  duties.
         Sec. 352.007.  CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION.
  (a)  The commission may obtain criminal history record information
  from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the Texas
  Department of Public Safety if the criminal history records relate
  to:
               (1)  an applicant selected for employment with the
  commission whose potential duties include direct contact with
  clients to provide vocational rehabilitation services or other
  services under this subtitle;
               (2)  an applicant for vocational rehabilitation
  services or other services under this subtitle from the commission;
  or
               (3)  a client receiving vocational rehabilitation
  services or other services under this subtitle.
         (b)  The Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the Texas
  Department of Public Safety on request shall supply to the
  commission criminal history record information relating to
  applicants selected for employment with the commission whose
  potential duties include direct contact with clients to provide
  vocational rehabilitation services, applicants for vocational
  rehabilitation services from the commission, or vocational
  rehabilitation clients of the commission.  The commission shall
  treat all criminal history record information as privileged and
  confidential and for commission use only.
         (c)  The commission by rule shall establish criteria for
  denying a person's application for employment with the commission
  to provide vocational rehabilitation services based on criminal
  history record information obtained as authorized by this section.
         Sec. 352.008.  HEARINGS. An applicant for or recipient of
  vocational rehabilitation services who is aggrieved by an action or
  inaction under this chapter is entitled to a hearing by the
  commission in accordance with law.
  SUBCHAPTER B.  GENERAL POWERS AND DUTIES
         Sec. 352.051.  VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION PROGRAM FOR
  INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES. (a)  The commission shall conduct a
  program to provide vocational rehabilitation services to eligible
  individuals with disabilities.
         (b)  To achieve the purposes of the program, the commission
  may:
               (1)  cooperate with other public and private agencies
  in studying the problems involved in providing vocational
  rehabilitation and in establishing, developing, and providing
  necessary or desirable facilities and services;
               (2)  enter into reciprocal agreements with other states
  to provide vocational rehabilitation for the residents of the
  states concerned; and
               (3)  conduct research and compile statistics relating
  to the vocational rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities.
         Sec. 352.052.  COOPERATION WITH FEDERAL GOVERNMENT;
  OBTAINING FEDERAL FUNDS. (a)  The commission shall cooperate with
  the federal government to accomplish the purposes of federal laws
  relating to vocational rehabilitation for individuals with
  disabilities and closely related activities.
         (b)  The commission shall negotiate agreements or plans with
  the federal government and shall use efficient methods of
  administration and comply with other conditions required to secure
  the full benefits of the federal laws. If the commission determines
  that a provision of state law precludes conformity with a federal
  requirement and limits federal financial support, the commission
  may waive or modify the state law to the extent necessary to obtain
  the full benefits of the federal law.
         (c)  The commission may comply with any requirements
  necessary to obtain federal funds to be used for vocational
  rehabilitation services in the maximum amount and most advantageous
  proportion possible.
         Sec. 352.053.  CONTRACTS FOR SERVICE. (a)  The commission
  shall include in its contracts with service providers under this
  chapter provisions relating to:
               (1)  clearly defined and measurable program
  performance standards that directly relate to the service provided;
               (2)  clearly defined penalties for nonperformance of a
  contract term; and
               (3)  clearly specified accounting, reporting, and
  auditing requirements applicable to money received under the
  contract.
         (b)  The commission shall monitor a service provider's
  performance under a contract for service under this chapter. In
  monitoring performance, the commission shall:
               (1)  use a risk-assessment methodology to institute
  statewide monitoring of contract compliance of service providers;
  and
               (2)  evaluate service providers based on clearly
  defined and measurable program performance objectives.
         Sec. 352.054.  RATES FOR MEDICAL SERVICES. (a)  The
  commission by rule shall adopt standards governing the
  determination of rates paid for medical services provided under
  this chapter.  The rules must provide for an annual reevaluation of
  the rates.
         (b)  The commission shall establish a schedule of rates based
  on the standards adopted under Subsection (a).  In adopting the rate
  schedule, the commission shall:
               (1)  compare the proposed rate schedule to other
  cost-based and resource-based rates for medical services,
  including rates paid under Medicaid and the Medicare program; and
               (2)  for any rate adopted that exceeds the Medicaid or
  Medicare rate for the same or a similar service, document the
  reasons why the adopted rate reflects consideration of the best
  value, provider availability, and consumer choice.
         (c)  The commission shall provide notice to interested
  persons and allow those persons to present comments before adopting
  the standards and schedule of rates under Subsections (a) and (b).
         Sec. 352.055.  CONTRACT PAYMENT. The commission shall base
  payment under a contract for vocational rehabilitation services on
  outcome-based performance standards defined in the contract.
         Sec. 352.056.  CONTRACTS FOR ADAPTIVE TECHNOLOGY. The
  commission shall include in a contract under this chapter with a
  supplier of adaptive technology equipment provisions that require
  the supplier to provide training for clients receiving the adaptive
  technology equipment.
         Sec. 352.057.  LOANS FOR VISUAL AIDS. (a)  The commission
  may establish a program to make loans to finance the purchase of
  technological aids for individuals with visual impairments.
  Interest on the loans may not exceed 10 percent per year.
         (b)  The commission may adopt rules to administer the loan
  program.
         Sec. 352.058.  SUBROGATION. (a)  By providing a person
  rehabilitation services, including medical care services, under
  this subchapter, the commission is subrogated to the person's right
  of recovery from:
               (1)  personal insurance;
               (2)  another person for personal injury caused by the
  other person's negligence or wrongdoing; or
               (3)  any other source.
         (b)  The commission's right of subrogation is limited to the
  cost of the services provided.
         (c)  The commission may totally or partially waive the
  commission's right of subrogation when the commission finds that
  enforcement would tend to defeat the purpose of rehabilitation.
         (d)  The commission may adopt rules for the enforcement of
  the commission's right of subrogation.
         Sec. 352.059.  WORK INCENTIVES AND SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY
  INCOME (SSI). The commission shall employ a person at the
  commission's central office to:
               (1)  train counselors to understand and use work
  incentives; and
               (2)  review cases to ensure that commission clients are
  informed of the availability of and assisted in obtaining work
  incentives and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) (42 U.S.C.
  Section 1381 et seq.).
  SUBCHAPTER C. PROVISION OF AND ELIGIBILITY FOR VOCATIONAL
  REHABILITATION SERVICES
         Sec. 352.101.  INTEGRATION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION
  PROGRAMS. (a)  Not later than October 1, 2017, and subject to
  federal approval, the commission shall integrate into a single
  vocational rehabilitation program the following programs that are
  operated under the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C.
  Sections 720 through 751):
               (1)  the vocational rehabilitation program for
  individuals with visual impairments; and
               (2)  the vocational rehabilitation program for
  individuals with other disabilities.
         (b)  Not later than October 1, 2017, to facilitate the
  integration of the vocational rehabilitation programs identified
  in Subsection (a), the commission shall at a minimum:
               (1)  reorganize the commission's vocational
  rehabilitation services in order to provide services based on an
  individual's functional need instead of an individual's type of
  disability;
               (2)  develop a plan to support specialization of
  vocational rehabilitation counselors in serving different client
  populations, including sufficient specialization in individuals
  with visual impairments to maintain expertise in serving that
  population;
               (3)  redesign performance measures for the provision of
  vocational rehabilitation services;
               (4)  consolidate policies for the provision of
  vocational rehabilitation services; and
               (5)  recommend the adoption of any rules necessary to
  implement this section.
         (c)  This section expires September 1, 2019.
         Sec. 352.102.  ELIGIBILITY FOR VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION
  SERVICES. The commission shall provide vocational rehabilitation
  services to individuals with disabilities eligible for those
  services under federal law.
         Sec. 352.103.  PROVISION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION
  SERVICES. (a)  The commission by rule shall establish and maintain
  guidelines for providing vocational rehabilitation services that
  are consistent with state and federal laws and that include:
               (1)  a system of organization for the delivery of
  vocational rehabilitation services statewide;
               (2)  eligibility requirements for vocational
  rehabilitation services;
               (3)  requirements for the rehabilitation planning
  process;
               (4)  the types of services that may be provided to a
  client through a vocational rehabilitation program; and
               (5)  requirements for client participation in the costs
  of vocational rehabilitation services, including documentation
  that a client has sought benefits for which the client is eligible
  from sources other than the commission and that may assist the
  client in obtaining vocational rehabilitation goods or services.
         (b)  The commission shall annually assess the effectiveness
  of the state's vocational rehabilitation program.
         Sec. 352.104.  TRAINING AND SUPERVISION OF COUNSELORS.
  (a)  The commission shall provide specific guidance to vocational
  rehabilitation counselors in:
               (1)  selecting vocational objectives according to a
  client's skills, experience, and knowledge;
               (2)  documenting a client's impediment to employment;
               (3)  selecting rehabilitation services that are
  reasonable and necessary to achieve a client's vocational
  objective;
               (4)  measuring client progress toward the vocational
  objective, including the documented, periodic evaluation of the
  client's rehabilitation and participation; and
               (5)  determining eligibility of employed and
  unemployed applicants for rehabilitation services using criteria
  defined by commission rule to document whether a client is
  substantially underemployed or at risk of losing employment.
         (b)  The commission by rule shall require monitoring and
  oversight of vocational rehabilitation counselor performance and
  decision making in accordance with this section.
         Sec. 352.105.  SPECIALIZED TRAINING FOR CERTAIN EMPLOYEES.
  (a)  The commission shall establish and require employee
  participation in a specialized training program for certain
  employees, including vocational rehabilitation transition
  specialists and transition counselors, whose duties involve
  assisting youth with disabilities to transition to post-schooling
  activities, services for adults, or community living.
         (b)  The training program must provide employees with
  information regarding:
               (1)  supports and services available from health and
  human services agencies, as defined by Section 531.001, Government
  Code, for:
                     (A)  youth with disabilities who are
  transitioning into post-schooling activities, services for adults,
  or community living; and
                     (B)  adults with disabilities;
               (2)  community resources available to improve the
  quality of life for:
                     (A)  youth with disabilities who are
  transitioning into post-schooling activities, services for adults,
  or community living; and
                     (B)  adults with disabilities; and
               (3)  other available resources that may remove
  transitional barriers for youth with disabilities who are
  transitioning into post-schooling activities, services for adults,
  or community living.
         (c)  In developing the training program required by this
  section, the commission shall collaborate with health and human
  services agencies, as defined by Section 531.001, Government Code,
  as necessary.
         Sec. 352.106.  PAYMENT OF SHIFT DIFFERENTIALS. The
  commission by rule may develop and implement policies allowing
  shift differentials to be paid to employees in the vocational
  rehabilitation program under this chapter.
         Sec. 352.107.  CLIENT ORIENTATION MATERIALS. The commission
  shall develop and distribute at intake client orientation materials
  for the vocational rehabilitation program that include information
  on the commission's decision-making criteria.
         Sec. 352.108.  COORDINATION WITH TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY.
  (a)  For purposes of this section, "transition services" means
  services provided to students with disabilities to assist the
  students in making the transition from secondary school to
  postsecondary education programs or competitive integrated
  employment.
         (b)  The commission and the Texas Education Agency shall
  collaborate to develop a mechanism to identify the areas of the
  state with the greatest needs for transition services for students
  with disabilities. The mechanism must account for the commission's
  limited resources and a school district's needs, including:
               (1)  the school district's resources for special
  education;
               (2)  the number of students with disabilities in the
  school district; and
               (3)  other factors that the commission and the Texas
  Education Agency consider important.
         (c)  The commission and the Texas Education Agency shall
  update the mechanism developed under Subsection (b) on a periodic
  basis.
         (d)  The commission shall develop uniform, statewide
  policies for transition services that include:
               (1)  the goal that a transition counselor initiate
  contact with a student approximately three years before the student
  is expected to graduate from high school;
               (2)  the minimum level of services to be provided to a
  student at the time that a transition counselor initiates contact
  with the student;
               (3)  standards, based on the mechanism developed under
  Subsection (b), for assigning a transition counselor to a school
  that ensure consistency among regions but that are not too
  restrictive;
               (4)  expectations for transition counselors to develop
  relationships with school personnel, including the employee
  designated to serve as the school district's designee on transition
  and employment services under Section 29.011(b), Education Code;
  and
               (5)  expectations for regional commission staff to work
  with education service center representatives on a regular basis to
  identify areas of greatest need and to discuss local strategies for
  coordination between transition counselors and schools.
         (e)  The commission and the Texas Education Agency shall
  enter into a memorandum of understanding to comply with the
  policies under this section and to improve coordination between the
  agencies. The memorandum of understanding must include:
               (1)  strategies to better inform transition clients,
  clients' families, and school personnel regarding the commission's
  available services and contact information for commission
  transition counselors; and
               (2)  a process to be used by the commission and the
  Texas Education Agency to develop and update the mechanism used to
  identify students who may need services.
         (f)  On or after September 1, 2016, but not later than
  September 1, 2017:
               (1)  the commission and the Texas Education Agency
  shall develop the mechanism required in Subsection (b) and enter
  into the memorandum of understanding required in Subsection (e);
  and
               (2)  the commission shall develop the policies
  described in Subsection (d).
         (g)  Subsection (f) and this subsection expire September 1,
  2018.
         SECTION 26.  (a)  Chapter 351, Labor Code, as added by this
  Act, is amended by adding Sections 351.0021 and 351.0022 to read as
  follows:
         Sec. 351.0021.  LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE. (a)  In
  this section, "committee" means the Legislative Oversight
  Committee established under this section.
         (b)  The Legislative Oversight Committee is created to
  facilitate the transfer of vocational rehabilitation services and
  other services and programs under this subtitle with, to the
  greatest degree possible, no negative effect on the delivery of
  services to clients.
         (c)  The committee is composed of 11 voting members, as
  follows:
               (1)  four members of the senate, appointed by the
  lieutenant governor;
               (2)  four members of the house of representatives,
  appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives; and
               (3)  three members of the public, appointed by the
  governor.
         (d)  The executive commissioner, the commissioner of
  assistive and rehabilitative services, and the executive director
  serve as ex officio, nonvoting members of the committee.
         (e)  A member of the committee serves at the pleasure of the
  appointing official.
         (f)  The lieutenant governor and the speaker of the house of
  representatives shall each designate a presiding co-chair from
  among their respective appointments.
         (g)  A member of the committee may not receive compensation
  for serving on the committee but is entitled to reimbursement for
  travel expenses incurred by the member while conducting the
  business of the committee as provided by the General Appropriations
  Act.
         (h)  The committee shall:
               (1)  facilitate the transfer of vocational
  rehabilitation services and other services and programs under this
  subtitle with, to the greatest degree possible, no negative effect
  on the delivery of services to clients;
               (2)  advise the executive director, the executive
  commissioner, and the commissioner of assistive and rehabilitative
  services concerning:
                     (A)  the services and programs to be transferred
  under this subtitle and the funds and obligations that are related
  to the services and programs; and
                     (B)  the transfer of the services and programs and
  related records, property, funds, and obligations from the
  department to the commission as provided by this subtitle; and
               (3)  meet at the call of either chair.
         (i)  Chapter 551, Government Code, applies to the committee.
         (j)  The committee shall submit a report to the governor,
  lieutenant governor, speaker of the house of representatives, and
  legislature not later than December 1 of each even-numbered year.
  The report must include an update on the progress of and issues
  related to the transfer of vocational rehabilitation services and
  other services and programs under this subtitle from the department
  to the commission, including the need for any additional statutory
  changes required to complete the transfer of services and programs
  to the commission in accordance with this subtitle.
         (k)  The committee is abolished August 31, 2019.
         (l)  This section expires September 1, 2019.
         Sec. 351.0022.  TRANSITION PLAN. (a)  The transfer of
  vocational rehabilitation services and other services and programs
  under this subtitle must be accomplished in accordance with a
  transition plan developed by the executive director, the
  commissioner of assistive and rehabilitative services, and the
  executive commissioner that ensures that the transfer and provision
  of services and programs are accomplished in a careful and
  deliberative manner. Specifically, the transition plan must
  include:
               (1)  the specific steps and methods for the transfer or
  disposition of all obligations, rights, contracts, leases,
  records, property, and funds, including unexpended and unobligated
  appropriations, relating to the services and programs transferred
  from the department to the commission under this subtitle,
  including the plans for leased office or building space and the
  transition of data and information technology systems supporting
  the services and programs;
               (2)  the identification of all full-time equivalent
  employee positions that are associated with the department's
  administration of the services and programs to be transferred to
  the commission, including the full-time equivalent employee
  positions that are associated with the Health and Human Services
  Commission's administrative support of those transferring services
  and programs;
               (3)  measures to ensure that unnecessary disruption to
  the provision of transferred services and programs does not occur;
               (4)  a strategy for integrating the department's
  vocational rehabilitation staff into the commission's local
  workforce development boards and centers as required by Section
  351.004;
               (5)  a strategy for integrating vocational
  rehabilitation programs for individuals with visual impairments
  and for individuals with other disabilities as required by Section
  352.101;
               (6)  a schedule for implementing the transfer of the
  services and programs; and
               (7)  a strategy for exchanging data with other state
  agencies that refer clients for vocational rehabilitation
  services.
         (b)  In developing the transition plan, the executive
  director, the commissioner of assistive and rehabilitative
  services, and the executive commissioner shall, before submitting
  the plan to the Legislative Oversight Committee and the governor as
  required by Subsection (d):
               (1)  hold public hearings in various geographic areas
  in this state regarding the plan; and
               (2)  solicit and consider input from appropriate
  stakeholders.
         (c)  To the extent allowed by federal law, public hearings
  under Subsection (b) may be combined with other public hearings
  required under federal law in relation to the adoption of a state
  plan for vocational rehabilitation services.
         (d)  As soon as practicable after September 1, 2015, but not
  later than March 1, 2016, the executive director, the commissioner
  of assistive and rehabilitative services, and the executive
  commissioner shall submit the transition plan to the Legislative
  Oversight Committee and the governor.  The Legislative Oversight
  Committee shall comment on and make recommendations regarding any
  concerns or adjustments to the transition plan the committee
  determines appropriate.  The executive director, the commissioner
  of assistive and rehabilitative services, and the executive
  commissioner may not finalize the transition plan until the
  comments and recommendations of the committee regarding the
  transition plan have been reviewed and considered.
         (e)  The department, commission, and Health and Human
  Services Commission shall post on the agencies' respective Internet
  websites:
               (1)  the transition plan developed under this section;
               (2)  any adjustments to the transition plan recommended
  by the Legislative Oversight Committee;
               (3)  a statement regarding whether the recommended
  adjustments were adopted or otherwise incorporated; and
               (4)  if a recommended adjustment was not adopted, the
  justification for not adopting the adjustment.
         (f)  This section expires September 1, 2019.
         (b)  Not later than October 1, 2015:
               (1)  the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house
  of representatives, and the governor shall make the appointments to
  the Legislative Oversight Committee as required by Section
  351.0021, Labor Code, as added by this section; and
               (2)  the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the
  house of representatives shall each designate a presiding co-chair
  of the Legislative Oversight Committee in accordance with Section
  351.0021, Labor Code, as added by this section.
         (c)  This section takes effect only if S.B. No. 200, 84th
  Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, or similar legislation of the
  84th Legislature, Regular Session, 2015:
               (1)  does not become law; or
               (2)  is enacted and becomes law, but does not provide
  for the establishment of a Health and Human Services Transition
  Legislative Oversight Committee to facilitate the consolidation of
  the health and human services system in this state.
         SECTION 27.  (a)  Section 531.0203, Government Code, as
  added by S.B. No. 200, 84th Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, is
  amended by adding Subsection (d-1) to read as follows:
         (d-1)  The commissioner of assistive and rehabilitative
  services and the executive director of the Texas Workforce
  Commission serve as ex officio, nonvoting members of the committee
  in addition to the executive commissioner.  This subsection expires
  August 31, 2019.
         (b)  Chapter 351, Labor Code, as added by this Act, is
  amended by adding Sections 351.0021 and 351.0022 to read as
  follows:
         Sec. 351.0021.  ADDITIONAL DUTIES OF HEALTH AND HUMAN
  SERVICES TRANSITION LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE. (a)  In this
  section, "committee" means the Health and Human Services Transition
  Legislative Oversight Committee established under Section
  531.0203, Government Code.
         (b)  In addition to the requirements of Section 531.0203(h),
  Government Code, the committee shall:
               (1)  facilitate the transfer of vocational
  rehabilitation services and other services and programs under this
  subtitle with, to the greatest degree possible, no negative effect
  on the delivery of services to clients; and
               (2)  advise the executive director, the commissioner of
  assistive and rehabilitative services, and the executive
  commissioner concerning:
                     (A)  the services and programs to be transferred
  under this subtitle and the funds and obligations that are related
  to the services and programs; and
                     (B)  the transfer of the services and programs and
  related records, property, funds, and obligations from the
  department to the commission as provided by this subtitle.
         (c)  In addition to the requirements for the report specified
  by Section 531.0203(j), Government Code, the committee shall
  include in the report under that subsection an update on the
  progress of and issues related to the transfer of vocational
  rehabilitation services and other services and programs under this
  subtitle from the department to the commission, including the need
  for any additional statutory changes required to complete the
  transfer of services and programs to the commission in accordance
  with this subtitle.
         (d)  This section expires September 1, 2019.
         Sec. 351.0022.  TRANSITION PLAN.  (a)  In addition to the
  requirements under Section 531.0204, Government Code, the
  executive commissioner shall work with the executive director and
  the commissioner of assistive and rehabilitative services to ensure
  the transition plan under that section includes a plan for the
  transfer of vocational rehabilitation services and other services
  and programs from the department to the commission that ensures the
  transfer is accomplished in a careful and deliberative manner.  
  Specifically, the transition plan must include:
               (1)  the specific steps and methods for the transfer or
  disposition of all obligations, rights, contracts, leases,
  records, property, and funds, including unexpended and unobligated
  appropriations, relating to the services and programs transferred
  from the department to the commission under this subtitle,
  including the plans for leased office or building space and the
  transition of data and information technology systems supporting
  the services and programs;
               (2)  the identification of all full-time equivalent
  employee positions that are associated with the department's
  administration of the services and programs to be transferred to
  the commission, including the full-time equivalent employee
  positions that are associated with the Health and Human Services
  Commission's administrative support of those transferring services
  and programs;
               (3)  measures to ensure that unnecessary disruption to
  the provision of transferred services and programs does not occur;
               (4)  a strategy for integrating the department's
  vocational rehabilitation staff into the commission's local
  workforce development boards and centers as required by Section
  351.004;
               (5)  a strategy for integrating vocational
  rehabilitation programs for individuals with visual impairments
  and for individuals with other disabilities as required by Section
  352.101;
               (6)  a schedule for implementing the transfer of the
  services and programs; and
               (7)  a strategy for exchanging data with other state
  agencies that refer clients for vocational rehabilitation
  services.
         (b)  To the extent allowed by federal law, public hearings
  held under Section 531.0204(c), Government Code, if appropriate,
  may be combined with other public hearings required under federal
  law in relation to the adoption of a state plan for vocational
  rehabilitation services.
         (c)  The plan for the transfer of vocational rehabilitation
  services and other services and programs required by this section
  must be included as part of the transition plan submitted to the
  Health and Human Services Transition Legislative Oversight
  Committee, the governor, and the Legislative Budget Board under
  Section 531.0204(e), Government Code, by the date prescribed by
  that subsection.  In addition, the plan must be separately
  submitted to that committee and the governor as soon as practicable
  after September 1, 2015.  The committee shall comment on the plan in
  conjunction with making comments on the transition plan as required
  by Section 531.0204(e), Government Code.
         (d)  If in making comments and recommendations on the
  transition plan under Section 531.0204(e), Government Code, the
  Health and Human Services Transition Legislative Oversight
  Committee has comments, concerns, or recommendations regarding the
  elements of the plan required by this section, the committee shall
  provide those comments, concerns, and recommendations to the
  executive director and the commissioner of assistive and
  rehabilitative services in addition to the executive commissioner.  
  The executive director, the commissioner of assistive and
  rehabilitative services, and the executive commissioner may not
  finalize the plan required by this section until the comments,
  concerns, and recommendations of the committee specifically
  regarding that plan have been reviewed and considered.
         (e)  This section expires September 1, 2019.
         (c)  Not later than October 1, 2015, the lieutenant governor,
  the speaker of the house of representatives, and the governor shall
  make the additional appointments to the Health and Human Services
  Transition Legislative Oversight Committee required by Section
  531.0203(d-1), Government Code, as added by this section.
         (d)  This section takes effect only if S.B. No. 200, 84th
  Legislature, Regular Session, 2015:
               (1)  is enacted and becomes law; and
               (2)  provides for the establishment of a Health and
  Human Services Transition Legislative Oversight Committee to
  facilitate the consolidation of the health and human services
  system in this state.
         SECTION 28.  Chapter 94, Human Resources Code, as amended by
  S.B. No. 219, Acts of the 84th Legislature, Regular Session, 2015,
  is transferred to Subtitle C, Title 4, Labor Code, as added by this
  Act, redesignated as Chapter 355, Labor Code, and amended to read as
  follows:
  CHAPTER 355 [94].  VENDING FACILITIES OPERATED BY BLIND PERSONS
         Sec. 355.001 [94.001].  DEFINITIONS.  In this chapter:
               (1)  "Blind person" means a person having not more than
  20/200 visual acuity in the better eye with correcting lenses or
  visual acuity greater than 20/200 but with a limitation in the field
  of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends
  an angle no greater than 20 degrees.
               [(1-a)     "Department" means the Department of Assistive
  and Rehabilitative Services.
               [(1-b)     "Executive commissioner" means the executive
  commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission.]
               (2)  "Vending facility" means a facility in which food,
  drinks, drugs, novelties, souvenirs, tobacco products, notions, or
  related items are sold regularly.  The term excludes facilities
  consisting solely of vending machines that do not compete directly
  or indirectly with a facility that is or could be operated by a
  person with a disability.
               (3)  "State property" means land and buildings owned,
  leased, or otherwise controlled by the state.
               (4)  "Agency" means the state agency in charge of state
  property.
               (5)  "Disability" means a physical or mental condition
  that the commission [department] determines to constitute a
  substantial vocational disadvantage.
         Sec. 355.002 [94.002].  LICENSE OR PERMIT REQUIRED.  (a)  No
  person may operate a vending facility or a facility with vending
  machines or other coin-operated devices on state property unless
  the person is licensed to do so by the commission [department] or is
  authorized to do so by an agency granted a permit to arrange for
  vending facilities.
         (b)  Subsection (a) does not apply to a building in which the
  Texas Facilities Commission leases space to a private tenant under
  Subchapter E, Chapter 2165, Government Code.
         Sec. 355.003 [94.003].  LICENSING PROCEDURE.  (a)  On its
  own initiative or at the request of an agency that controls state
  property, the commission [department] shall survey the property, or
  blueprints and other available information concerning the
  property, to determine whether the installation of a vending
  facility is feasible and consonant with the commission's
  [department's] vocational rehabilitation objectives.
         (b)  If the installation of the facility is feasible, the
  commission [department] shall either license a blind person to
  operate a facility to be installed by the commission [department]
  or install a facility to be operated by a person with a disability
  who is not blind according to rules and procedures adopted by the
  commission [executive commissioner].
         Sec. 355.004 [94.004].  LOCATION OF VENDING FACILITIES.  
  (a)  With the concurrence of the agency in charge of state
  property, the commission [department] shall designate the location
  of vending facilities that have been requested by the agency.
         (b)  The agency responsible for state property shall alter
  the property to make it suitable for the proper operation of the
  vending facilities.  To this end, the agency in charge of
  constructing new state property shall consult with the commission
  [department] during the planning stage on the construction.
         Sec. 355.005 [94.005].  ISSUANCE OF LICENSES; ELIGIBILITY.  
  (a)  The commission [department] may issue a license to operate its
  vending facilities on state property to blind citizens of the state
  who are capable of operating the facilities in a manner that is
  reasonably satisfactory to all parties concerned.
         (b)  Before issuing a license to a person, the commission
  [department] shall determine whether the person has the physical,
  psychological, and personal traits and abilities required to
  operate a vending facility in a satisfactory manner.
         (c)  The commission [department] shall maintain a roster of
  the names of each person who has been certified as suitable for
  licensing.  If two or more equally qualified persons are listed on
  the roster and apply for a license to operate an available vending
  facility, the commission [department] shall issue the license to
  the person who is most in need of employment.
         (d)  The granting of a license does not vest the licensee
  with property or other rights which may constitute the basis of a
  cause of action, at law or in equity, against the state or its
  officers or employees.
         Sec. 355.006 [94.006].  EXPIRATION, RENEWAL, AND REVOCATION
  OF LICENSES.  (a)  A license or general permit to operate a vending
  facility on state property is valid for a period of three years from
  the date it is issued.
         (b)  The commission [department] shall review each license
  or permit prior to its expiration and shall issue a new or different
  license or permit as the circumstances warrant.
         (c)  The commission [department] and the agency may consent
  mutually to revoke a general permit prior to its expiration if
  changed circumstances warrant that action.
         (d)  A blind person's wilful failure to comply with the
  commission's [department's] rules or the provisions of this chapter
  constitutes grounds for the automatic revocation of the person's
  license.
         (e)  The commission [executive commissioner] shall adopt
  substantive and procedural rules governing the revocation of
  licenses.
         Sec. 355.007 [94.007].  OPERATION OF VENDING FACILITIES BY
  CERTAIN PERSONS WHO ARE NOT BLIND.  If the commission [department]
  determines that a blind person could not properly operate a vending
  facility at a particular location, the commission [department] may
  survey the property to determine whether a person with a disability
  that is not of a visual nature could operate the facility in a
  proper manner.
         Sec. 355.008 [94.008].  CLOSING CERTAIN FACILITIES
  PROHIBITED.  Neither a vending facility operated by an individual
  with a disability, nor a vending facility location surveyed by the
  commission [department], may be closed as a result of the transfer
  of state property from one agency to another, the alteration of a
  state building, or the reorganization of a state agency unless the
  commission [department] agrees to the closing.
         Sec. 355.009 [94.009].  EMPLOYMENT OF ASSISTANTS.  (a)  If
  an individual licensed to operate a vending facility on state
  property requires an assistant, a qualified person with a
  disability of a visual nature must be given preference for
  employment.  If the commission [department] determines that a
  person with a disability of a visual nature could not perform the
  labor for which an assistant is required, or if a person with a
  disability of a visual nature is not available, a person with a
  disability that is not of a visual nature must be given preference
  for employment.  [If no person with a disability is available for
  the job, preference must be given to a person who is socially,
  culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged.]
         (b)  An assistant employed by a blind person licensed by the
  commission [department] must be approved by the commission
  [department], and the deliberate refusal of a blind licensee to
  comply with this section constitutes grounds for the revocation of
  the person's [his or her] license.
         Sec. 355.010 [94.010].  COMPETING VENDING MACHINES.  
  (a)  If the commission [department] and an agency agree to the
  installation and operation of an additional vending facility or
  vending machine on property that already has a commission-sponsored
  [department-sponsored] vending facility, no additional permit or
  license is required.  However, the installation of a competing
  vending facility consisting of vending machines or other
  coin-operated devices must be authorized by the commission
  [department].  The commission's [department's] authorization must
  be made with a view toward providing the greatest economic benefits
  for blind persons consonant with supplying the additional services
  required at the building.
         (b)  State agencies shall cooperate and negotiate in good
  faith to accomplish the purposes of this chapter.
         (c)  Individuals with disabilities who operate vending
  facilities on state property are entitled to receive all
  commissions from vending machines installed on the same property.  
  If two or more vending facilities are operated by individuals with
  disabilities in a building in which vending machines are installed,
  the commission [department] shall divide the commissions from the
  vending machines among the operators with disabilities in a manner
  that will achieve equity and equality in the incomes of those
  operators.  If the commission [department] has decided not to
  locate a vending facility in a building, the agency to whom a
  general permit has been issued shall determine the assignment of
  the commissions from vending machines installed in the building.
         Sec. 355.011 [94.011].  VENDING FACILITY EQUIPMENT AND
  STOCK.  (a)  The commission [department] may supply a blind vending
  facility operator with equipment and initial stock necessary for
  the operator to begin business.
         (b)  The commission [department] shall collect and set aside
  from the proceeds of the operation of its vending facilities enough
  money:
               (1)  to insure a sufficient amount of initial stock for
  the facilities and for their proper maintenance;
               (2)  to pay the costs of supervision and other expenses
  incidental to the operation of the facilities; and
               (3)  to pay other program costs to the extent necessary
  to assure fair and equal treatment of the blind persons licensed to
  operate the facilities and to the extent allowed under federal
  programs that provide financial support to the commission 
  [department].
         (c)  Except for purchasing and installing original
  equipment, the operation of commission-sponsored 
  [department-sponsored] vending facilities must be as
  self-supporting and self-sustaining as possible.  To achieve this
  end, the commission [department] shall periodically review and,
  when necessary, revise its schedules for collecting and setting
  aside money from the proceeds of its vending facilities.
         Sec. 355.012 [94.012].  DUTIES AND PRIVILEGES OF PARTIES.  
  (a)  The commission [executive commissioner] may promulgate rules
  and [the department may] initiate procedures necessary to implement
  this chapter.
         (b)  A blind person licensed to operate a vending facility on
  state property shall operate the facility in accordance with law
  and the commission's [department's] rules and policies.
         (c)  The agency in charge of state property shall cooperate
  with the commission [department] and its blind licensees to
  accomplish the purposes of this chapter.  The agency shall also
  furnish all necessary utility service, including connections and
  outlets required for the installation of the facility, janitorial
  and garbage disposal services where feasible, and other related
  assistance.
         Sec. 355.013 [94.013].  TRAINING PROGRAMS.  The commission 
  [department] may establish training or experimentation locations
  necessary to train blind persons who desire to be licensed to
  operate vending facilities and to develop techniques which will
  allow blind persons to operate the facilities or related types of
  small businesses more efficiently and productively.
         Sec. 355.014 [94.014].  CONFORMITY WITH FEDERAL STATUTES.  
  (a)  This chapter shall be construed in a manner consistent with
  the requirements of federal programs that provide financial
  assistance to the commission [department].
         (b)  If a provision of this chapter conflicts with a federal
  program requirement, the commission [department] may waive or
  modify the provision to the extent necessary to secure the full
  benefits of the federal program.
         Sec. 355.015 [94.015].  APPLICATION OF CHAPTER.  (a)  This
  chapter does not apply to:
               (1)  property over which the federal government
  maintains partial or complete control;
               (2)  property maintained and operated by
  state-supported institutions of higher education; provided,
  however, that the commission [department] may enter into agreements
  with state institutions of higher education concerning the use of
  blind labor in vending facilities at the institutions; or
               (3)  property purchased by the state or an agency of the
  state, property to which title is transferred from one state agency
  to another, or property control of which is transferred from one
  state agency to another, if:
                     (A)  at the time of purchase or transfer of title
  or control, a vending facility is being operated on the property
  under lease, license, or contract; and
                     (B)  prior to the time of purchase or transfer of
  title or control, the provisions of this chapter were rendered
  inapplicable to such property by this section or other law.
         (b)  This chapter does not apply to vending facilities
  operated by an institution for persons with mental illness or
  intellectual disabilities that is under the control of the
  Department of State Health Services, the Department of Aging and
  Disability Services, or a successor to one of those departments, if
  the vending facilities are operated without profit for the benefit
  of the patients at the institution.
         (c)  This chapter does not prohibit the commission 
  [department] from selecting blind persons to operate other suitable
  types of vending facilities or business enterprises, and the
  chapter does not prohibit the installation of automated vending
  facilities serviced by blind persons.
         Sec. 355.016 [94.016].  BUSINESS ENTERPRISES PROGRAM.  
  (a)  The commission [department] is authorized to administer the
  Business Enterprises Program in accordance with the provisions of
  the Randolph-Sheppard Act (20 U.S.C. Section 107 et seq.).
         (b)  The commission [department] is authorized to administer
  a retirement program for individuals licensed to operate vending
  facilities in accordance with applicable state and federal laws.
         (c)  A trust fund for a retirement program for individuals
  licensed to operate vending facilities under the Business
  Enterprises Program is established with the comptroller.  This
  trust fund will be set up in the state treasury.
         (d)  All federal vending machine income shall be credited to
  this Business Enterprises Program trust fund.  Vending machine
  income, as defined by 34 C.F.R. Section 395.1(z), means receipts
  (other than those of a blind vendor) from vending machine
  operations on federal property, after deducting the cost of goods
  sold (including reasonable service and maintenance costs) in
  accordance with customary business practices of commercial vending
  concerns, where the machines are operated, serviced, or maintained
  by, or with the approval of, a department, agency, or
  instrumentality of the United States, or commissions paid (other
  than to a blind vendor) by a commercial vending concern which
  operates, services, and maintains vending machines on federal
  property for, or with the approval of, a department, agency, or
  instrumentality of the United States.
         (e)  All expenditures authorized by the Randolph-Sheppard
  Act from federal vending revenue funds shall be paid from the
  Business Enterprises Program trust fund.
         (f)  The commission [department] may contract with a
  professional management service to administer the Business
  Enterprises Program trust fund.  In administering the trust fund,
  the professional management service may acquire, exchange, sell, or
  retain any kind of investment that a prudent investor, exercising
  reasonable care, skill, and caution, would acquire, exchange, sell,
  or retain under the circumstances, taking into consideration the
  investment of all the assets of the trust fund.
         (g)  With the approval of the comptroller, the commission 
  [department] may select a commercial bank, depository trust
  company, or other entity to serve as a custodian of the Business
  Enterprises Program trust fund's securities, and money realized
  from those securities, pending completion of an investment
  transaction.  Money realized from those securities must be:
               (1)  reinvested not later than one business day after
  the date it is received; or
               (2)  deposited in the treasury not later than the fifth
  business day after the date it is received.
         SECTION 29.  Section 301.0015, Property Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 301.0015.  TEXAS WORKFORCE COMMISSION [CIVIL RIGHTS
  DIVISION]. The powers and duties exercised by the Commission on
  Human Rights under this chapter are transferred to the Texas
  Workforce Commission [civil rights division].  A reference in this
  chapter to the "commission" means the Texas Workforce Commission
  [civil rights division].
         SECTION 30.  The following provisions, including provisions
  amended by, or redesignated and amended by, S.B. No. 219, Acts of
  the 84th Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, are repealed:
               (1)  Subchapter F, Chapter 419, Government Code;
               (2)  Section 91.016(e), Human Resources Code;
               (3)  Section 111.016, Human Resources Code;
               (4)  Section 111.061, Human Resources Code;
               (5)  Section 117.058, Human Resources Code;
               (6)  Subchapters E and F, Chapter 117, Human Resources
  Code; and
               (7)  Sections 301.151(3) and 301.152, Labor Code.
         SECTION 31.  (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (b) of
  this section, not later than September 1, 2016, the Texas Workforce
  Commission shall adopt all rules, policies, and procedures required
  by the changes in law made by this Act.
         (b)  Not later than September 1, 2017, the Texas Workforce
  Commission shall adopt all rules, policies, and procedures required
  by Subtitle C, Title 4, Labor Code, as added by this Act.
         (c)  Section 301.157, Labor Code, as added by this Act,
  applies beginning with the annual report submitted to the governor
  and the legislature by the Texas Workforce Commission that covers
  the state fiscal year ending August 31, 2015.
         SECTION 32.  On the effective date of this Act, the human
  rights commission that governed the Texas Workforce Commission
  civil rights division under Section 301.153, Labor Code, before the
  effective date of this Act is abolished.  The validity of an action
  taken by the human rights commission before that date is not
  affected by the abolition.  The changes in law made by this Act do
  not affect a case or proceeding pending under Chapter 21, Labor
  Code, or Chapter 301, Property Code, on the effective date of this
  Act.
         SECTION 33.  (a)  On September 1, 2016, subject to receipt
  of federal approval, if required, for the Texas Workforce
  Commission to administer vocational rehabilitation services and
  other services and programs under Subtitle C, Title 4, Labor Code,
  as added by this Act:
               (1)  those services and programs and related powers,
  duties, functions, and activities, including rulemaking authority,
  are transferred to the Texas Workforce Commission;
               (2)  all obligations and contracts of the Department of
  Assistive and Rehabilitative Services that are related to a
  transferred service or program are transferred to the Texas
  Workforce Commission;
               (3)  all property and records in the custody of the
  Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, including
  information technology systems, that are related to a transferred
  service or program and all funds appropriated by the legislature
  and other money for the service or program shall be transferred to
  the Texas Workforce Commission; and
               (4)  all complaints, investigations, or contested
  cases that are pending before the Department of Assistive and
  Rehabilitative Services that are related to a transferred service
  or program are transferred without change in status to the Texas
  Workforce Commission.
         (b)  After a transfer of services and programs occurs under
  Subsection (a) of this section, a rule or form adopted by the
  executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission
  or by the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, as
  applicable, that relates to a transferred service or program is a
  rule or form of the Texas Workforce Commission and remains in effect
  until altered by the Texas Workforce Commission.
         (c)  After a transfer of services and programs occurs under
  Subsection (a) of this section, a reference in law to the executive
  commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission or the
  Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services that relates to
  a transferred service or program means the Texas Workforce
  Commission.
         (d)  After a transfer of services and programs occurs under
  Subsection (a) of this section, a license, permit, or certification
  in effect that was issued by the Department of Assistive and
  Rehabilitative Services and that relates to a transferred service
  or program is continued in effect as a license, permit, or
  certification of the Texas Workforce Commission.
         SECTION 34.  (a)  As soon as practicable after the effective
  date of this Act, the Texas Workforce Commission and the Health and
  Human Services Commission, in consultation with the Texas
  Facilities Commission, shall develop a plan for leased office or
  building space where staff that will be affected by the transfer of
  the administration of services and programs to the Texas Workforce
  Commission under this Act are located. The plan developed under
  this section must:
               (1)  identify all leased office or building space where
  staff that will be affected by the transfers are located or
  co-located;
               (2)  identify the term and costs of each existing
  lease;
               (3)  identify the feasibility of canceling a lease or
  consolidating office or building space based on the factors set out
  in state law, including the General Appropriations Act;
               (4)  identify the location of each leased office or
  building space and its proximity to relevant client populations;
  and
               (5)  include a recommendation for either the
  cancellation or continued use of each leased office or building
  space based on the best values for the state.
         (b)  The plan for leased office or building space required by
  Subsection (a) of this section must be included in the transition
  plan as specified by Section 351.0022, Labor Code, as added by this
  Act.
         SECTION 35.  (a)  As soon as practicable after the effective
  date of this Act, but not later than October 1, 2015, the Health and
  Human Services Commission, the Department of Assistive and
  Rehabilitative Services, and the Texas Workforce Commission shall
  complete the development of a plan for transitioning data and
  information technology systems that support the administration of
  services and programs under Subtitle C, Title 4, Labor Code, as
  added by this Act, from the Department of Assistive and
  Rehabilitative Services and the Health and Human Services
  Commission to the Texas Workforce Commission. The Legislature
  finds that planning for the timely and successful transition of
  data and information technology systems is essential to the
  administration of these services and programs.
         (b)  The plan developed under this section must:
               (1)  identify the purpose or need for each of the data
  and information technology systems;
               (2)  identify how the data and information technology
  systems will be used;
               (3)  identify the date the data and information
  technology system will be shared with the Texas Workforce
  Commission;
               (4)  identify the persons or classes of persons at each
  agency who require access to information to implement the plan;
               (5)  require the appropriate privacy and security
  controls for access;
               (6)  limit the disclosure of personal information to
  the minimum amount necessary to accomplish the purpose of the plan;
  and
               (7)  to the extent federal approval is required to
  implement any part of the plan, require the agencies to obtain the
  required federal approvals before implementing that part of the
  plan.
         (c)  Notwithstanding any other law, not later than October 1,
  2015, the agencies shall share information as needed to implement
  the plan developed under this section, subject to the plan's
  requirements and execution of all agreements necessary to ensure
  the privacy, security, and confidentiality of the information.
         (d)  The agencies shall coordinate activities under the plan
  as needed to reflect any changes in circumstances or direction.
         (e)  The plan for transitioning data and information
  technology systems that support the administration of services and
  programs under Subtitle C, Title 4, Labor Code, as added by this
  Act, required by Subsection (a) of this section must be included in
  the transition plan as specified by Section 351.0022, Labor Code,
  as added by this Act.
         SECTION 36.  The Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative
  Services and the Texas Workforce Commission shall actively seek any
  required federal approval to transfer the administration of
  services and programs under Subtitle C, Title 4, Labor Code, as
  added by this Act, from the department to the commission on
  September 1, 2016.
         SECTION 37.  Except as otherwise provided by this Act, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2015.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 208 passed the Senate on
  May 11, 2015, by the following vote: Yeas 25, Nays 6; and that the
  Senate concurred in House amendments on May 29, 2015, by the
  following vote: Yeas 28, Nays 3.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 208 passed the House, with
  amendments, on May 26, 2015, by the following vote: Yeas 145,
  Nays 0, two present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor