Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2280
By: Naishtat
Human Services


In 1995, the 74th Legislature enacted welfare reform. Rather than
immediately conform with federal welfare reform passed by Congress in 1996,
Texas was allowed to take advantage of a waiver option authorizing a delay
in implementing some federal provisions. This waiver expires in March 2002,
at which time the state must bolster its efforts in assisting recipients of
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) into the workplace before
their five-year allotment of benefits expires.  If the needs of TANF
recipients with high barriers to employment are not addressed, it is
unlikely that they will take advantage of workforce services or succeed in
the workplace.  In performing its interim duties, the House Committee on
Human Services conducted a workgroup to explore ways of improving the
process of moving an individual from welfare to the workplace.  One
recommendation of the workgroup was to create a pilot program to assist
TANF recipients through this process by removing barriers to employment and
improving the network of community support services.  House Bill 2280
establishes a pilot program to provide case management services to TANF
recipients with high barriers to employment to assist recipients in
attaining and maintaining employment.  


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to the Texas Department of Human Services
and the Texas Workforce Commission in SECTION 3 (Secs. 31.071 and 31.075,
Human Resources Code) of this bill. 


House Bill 2280 amends the Human Resources Code to require the Department
of Human Services (DHS) and the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), no later
than January 1, 2002, to jointly develop and adopt, by rule, a memorandum
of understanding to establish a coordinated case management pilot program
to conduct a personal-needs assessment for each recipient of Temporary
Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and to provide case management
services to recipients who are referred for services based on the
assessment.  The bill provides that the memorandum of understanding must
specify the goals, tasks, and responsibilities of each agency (Sec. 31.071
and  SECTION 4).   

The bill requires DHS and TWC to jointly select the pilot program sites and
to conduct the pilot program in as many workforce development areas as
possible with money appropriated for that purpose.  The bill provides that
TWC shall require in its contract with each local workforce development
board in a local workforce area where the pilot program is conducted that
the development board implement the program (Sec. 31.072). 

H.B. 2280 specifies that the pilot program must be designed to provide case
management services to TANF recipients who are identified as having higher
barriers to employment compared to other recipients (Sec. 31.073).  The
bill requires DHS and TWC to implement a personal-needs assessment in each
pilot program site for purposes of assessing personal needs and improving
case management of TANF recipients and referring the recipients to a case
coordinator for additional referrals to appropriate support services and
monitoring (Sec. 31.074). The bill sets forth the duties of case
coordinators (Sec. 31.076). 
The bill establishes personal or situational circumstances that constitute
a barrier to employment for purposes of personal-needs assessment.  The
bill authorizes DHS and TWC to design the personal- needs assessment
component to provide assessment and services to targeted TANF recipient
groups that experience specific barriers to employment (Sec. 31.074). 

H.B. 2280 establishes eligibility requirements for pilot program services
and requires DHS and TWC by rule to develop guidelines for determining when
a recipient may receive an extension of services and the duration of the
extension (Sec. 31.075).  

The bill authorizes DHS, TWC, and the local workforce development boards to
contract with communitybased organizations to provide services under the
pilot program.  The bill authorizes DHS and TWC to colocate staff needed
for implementation of the pilot program (Secs. 31.077 and 31.078).  The
bill requires DHS and TWC no later than December 1, 2002 to submit a report
to the legislature, governor, and Health and Human Services Commission
regarding the progress and effectiveness of the pilot program in assisting
recipients with high levels of barriers in achieving independence from
public assistance.  The report must include a recommendation regarding the
feasibility of developing a statewide coordinated case management program
for TANF recipients.  The bill requires DHS, TWC, and HHSC, in determining
the program's effectiveness, to cooperate with the Legislative Budget Board
to develop appropriate outcome measures to be included in the report.  DHS
and TWC are authorized to contract for the evaluation and report (Sec.

The pilot program expires September 1, 2003 (Sec. 31.080).


September 1, 2001.