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  S.B. No. 73
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to leave policy and procedures for state employees.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 661, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Subchapter H to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER H. STATE AGENCY LEAVE POLICY
         Sec. 661.251.  DEFINITION. In this subchapter, "state
  agency" has the meaning assigned by Section 661.001.
         Sec. 661.252.  AGENCY POLICY. (a)  A state agency shall
  adopt a policy governing leave for employees under this chapter.
         (b)  The policy must provide clear and objective guidelines
  to establish under what circumstances an employee of the agency may
  be entitled to or granted each type of leave provided by this
  chapter.
         (c)  The state agency shall post the policy adopted under
  this section on the agency's Internet website in a location easily
  accessible by the agency's employees and the public.
         SECTION 2.  Section 661.902, Government Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (b) and adding Subsection (c) to read as
  follows:
         (b)  The administrative head of an agency may determine that
  a reason other than a reason [that] described by Subsection (a) is
  sufficient for granting emergency leave. Subject to the provisions
  of this subsection and except as provided by Subsection (c), the
  administrative head [and] shall grant an emergency leave to an
  employee if the employee requests the leave and [who] the
  administrative head determines that the employee has shown good
  cause for taking emergency leave. The administrative head may not
  grant an emergency leave to an employee under this subsection
  unless the administrative head believes in good faith that the
  employee being granted the emergency leave intends to return to the
  employee's position with the agency on expiration of the period of
  emergency leave.
         (c)  An employee is not required to request an emergency
  leave if the administrative head of the employing agency grants the
  emergency leave under Subsection (b) because the agency is closed
  due to weather conditions or in observance of a holiday.
         (d)  Not later than October 1 of each year, the
  administrative head of an agency shall report to the comptroller
  the name and position of each employee of the agency who was granted
  more than 32 hours of emergency leave during the previous state
  fiscal year, the reason for which the employee was granted the
  emergency leave, and the total number of hours of emergency leave
  granted to the employee in that state fiscal year.
         SECTION 3.  Subchapter Z, Chapter 661, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 661.923 to read as follows:
         Sec. 661.923.  LEAVE DURING AGENCY INVESTIGATION. (a)  The
  administrative head of an agency may grant leave without a
  deduction in salary to a state employee who is:
               (1)  the subject of an investigation being conducted by
  the agency; or
               (2)  a victim of, or witness to, an act or event that is
  the subject of an investigation being conducted by the agency.
         (b)  A state employee who is the subject of an investigation
  being conducted by the employing agency is ineligible to receive
  leave for that reason under any other provision of this subchapter.
         (c)  Not later than the last day of each quarter of a state
  fiscal year, an agency shall submit a report to the state auditor's
  office and the Legislative Budget Board that includes the name of
  each agency employee described by Subsection (a)(1) who has been
  granted 168 hours or more of leave under this section during that
  fiscal quarter. The report must include, for each employee, a brief
  statement as to the reason the employee remains on leave.
         SECTION 4.  Subchapter Z, Chapter 661, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 661.924 to read as follows:
         Sec. 661.924.  MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE LEAVE FOR
  CERTAIN VETERANS. (a)  This section applies to a state employee
  who is:
               (1)  a veteran, as defined by Section 434.023(a); and
               (2)  eligible for health benefits under a program
  administered by the Veterans Health Administration of the United
  States Department of Veterans Affairs.
         (b)  A state employee described by Subsection (a) may be
  granted leave without a deduction in salary or loss of vacation
  time, sick leave, earned overtime credit, or state compensatory
  time to obtain medical or mental health care administered by the
  Veterans Health Administration of the United States Department of
  Veterans Affairs, including physical rehabilitation.
         (c)  Except as provided by Subsection (d), leave granted
  under Subsection (b) may not exceed 15 days each fiscal year.
         (d)  The administrative head of a state agency may annually
  grant additional days of leave described by Subsection (b) as the
  administrative head determines appropriate for the employee.
         SECTION 5.  Subchapter C, Chapter 2101, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 2101.042 to read as follows:
         Sec. 2101.042.  LEAVE REPORTING.  (a)  As part of the
  centralized accounting and payroll system or any successor system
  used to implement the enterprise resource planning component of the
  uniform statewide accounting project developed under Sections
  2101.031, 2101.035, and 2101.036, the comptroller shall adopt a
  uniform system for use by each state agency to which Section
  2101.036 applies under Subsection (d) of that section for the
  reporting of leave taken by the agency's employees. The system
  adopted by the comptroller must include standardized accounting
  codes for each type of leave authorized under Chapter 661.
         (b)  A state agency to which Subsection (a) applies shall use
  the uniform system adopted by the comptroller under this section.
         SECTION 6.  Section 661.902(b), Government Code, as amended
  by this Act, and Section 661.923, Government Code, as added by this
  Act, apply only to a grant of leave made on or after the effective
  date of this Act. A grant of leave made before the effective date of
  this Act is governed by the law in effect on the date the leave was
  granted, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 7.  The first report required under Section
  661.902(c), Government Code, as added by this Act, is due October 1,
  2017, and must cover the period from September 1, 2016, to August
  31, 2017.
         SECTION 8.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2017.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 73 passed the Senate on
  April 3, 2017, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0; and that
  the Senate concurred in House amendments on May 26, 2017, by the
  following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 73 passed the House, with
  amendments, on May 22, 2017, by the following vote: Yeas 146,
  Nays 0, one present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor