Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 161
By: Zaffirini
Human Services


The Texas Department of Human Services indicates that its financial aid
caseloads have declined from 255,294 as of August 1995 to 119,350 as of
August 2000. This reduction can be attributed to state and federal laws
that made welfare a time-limited benefit with work requirements.  Under
current law, transitional Medicaid and child-care services are provided
during the transition from public assistance to work.  Often these services
do not meet the needs of recipients, making the chance of a successful
transition from public assistance into work more difficult.  Senate Bill
161 expands the list of transitional services provided to individuals on
public assistance. 


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. 


Senate Bill 161 amends the Human Resources Code to require the Texas
Department of Human Services (department) and the Texas Workforce
Commission, subject to the availability of funds, to provide transitional
support services to a person who was receiving financial assistance but is
no longer eligible to receive the assistance because the person's household
income has increased or the person has exhausted time-limited benefits.
The bill requires each agency to provide the support services that the
agency determines are necessary and that are appropriate for the agency to
provide.  The bill authorizes the agencies to provide the support services
only until the end of the applicable period for the provision of
transitional benefits or the first anniversary of the date on which the
person becomes ineligible for financial assistance because of increased
household income, whichever is earlier.  The bill provides that such
support services include transportation assistance, emergency assistance,
job coaches, education, housing-related assistance, assistance in accessing
child-care services, and other appropriate services.  The bill specifies
that the additional transitional benefits provided to a person who is
exempt from work requirements as a caretaker of a disabled child and who
voluntarily participates in the job opportunities and basic skills program
do not include the specified transitional support services. 


September 1, 2001.