HBA-TBM, MPM H.B. 477 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.H.B. 477 By: Naishtat Human Services 3/16/2001 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The Texas Department of Human Services indicates that its financial aid caseloads have declined from 255,294 as August 1995 to 119,350 as August 2000. This reduction can be attributed to state and federal laws that made welfare a time-limited benefit with work requirements. The clients who were more successful at transitioning into the workplace are primarily those who needed minimal services. The remaining client population includes those whose inadequate skills and personal hardships inhibit success in the workplace. This segment of the population requires more intensive case management and workforce services to become self-sufficient. C.S.H.B. 477 requires the Texas Department of Human Services and the Texas Workforce Commission to develop an interagency plan to identify clients with higher levels of barriers to employment and provide them with coordinated services to address the barriers and transition into the workplace. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY 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 1 (Section 31.0128, Human Resources Code) of this bill. ANALYSIS C.S.H.B. 477 amends the Human Resources Code to require the Texas Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to jointly develop and adopt a memorandum of understanding, subject to the approval of the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to establish guidelines for a coordinated interagency case management plan (plan) to: _identify each recipient of financial aid who has higher levels of barriers to employment compared to other recipients; and _provide coordinated services addressing the barriers to assist the recipient in finding and retaining employment. DHS and TWC are also required to jointly develop and adopt an additional memorandum of understanding, subject to the approval of HHSC, that establishes a plan consistent with these guidelines using existing resources and by rule implement it to the maximum extent possible no later than January 1, 2002 through local DHS and TWC offices in local workforce development areas where a local workforce board is not established. In a local workforce development area where no local workforce development board is established, the bill requires TWC to require in its contract with DHS that DHS, in cooperation with local department offices, develop and implement the plan. DHS and TWC are required, by rule, to adopt both memoranda of understanding and all revisions no later than January 1, 2002. Not later than December 1, 2002, DHS and TWC are required to jointly prepare and submit to the legislature a report regarding any changes in the law necessary to implement the interagency case management plan. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE C.S.H.B. 477 differs from the original by requiring the Texas Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to by rule implement the coordinated interagency case management plan (plan) using existing resources to the maximum extent possible through local department and commission offices in local workforce development areas in which a local workforce development board is not established. The substitute also requires DHS and TWC to not later than December 1, 2002 jointly prepare and submit to the legislature a report regarding any changes in the law necessary to implement the plan.