HBA-NLM H.B. 2017 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2017 By: Christian Human Services 3/27/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE In implementing the federal "Charitable Choice" provision of the Personal Responsibility and Work Reconciliation Act of 1996, and the Welfare to Work reform in Texas, various legislators and state agencies have attempted to identify churches and other faith-based organizations that attempt to help people in need and assist them in gaining independence from governmental assistance programs. The purpose of this bill is to enhance communication and cooperation between the Texas Department of Human Services (department) and faith-based organizations. H.B. 2017 requires the Commissioner of Human Services (commissioner) to designate one department employee in each of the department's administrative regions to serve as a liaison to faith-based organizations in the region with the potential ability to provide community services for the needy. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Chapter 21, Human Resources Code, by adding Section 21.0061, as follows: Sec. 21.0061. LIAISONS TO FAITH-BASED ORGANIZATIONS. (a) Requires the Commissioner of Human Services (commissioner) to designate one Texas Department of Human Services (department) employee in each of the department's administrative regions to serve as a liaison to faith-based organizations in the region with the potential ability to provide community services for the needy. (b) Requires the commissioner to ensure that the primary function of each employee designated as a liaison under this section is to: _communicate with the faith-based organizations regarding the need for private community services to benefit persons in need of assistance who would otherwise require financial or other assistance under public programs administered by the department; _promote the involvement of the faith-based organizations in working to meet community needs for assistance; and _coordinate the department's effort to promote involvement of faith-based organizations in providing community services with similar efforts of other state agencies. SECTION 2. Emergency clause. Effective date: upon passage.