HBA-MSH C.S.S.B. 161 77(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.S.B. 161 By: Zaffirini Human Services 4/26/2001 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The Texas Department of Human Services (DHS) 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. C.S.S.B. 161 authorizes DHS and the Texas Workforce Commission to expand the list of transitional services provided to certain individuals no longer eligible for public assistance. 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. ANALYSIS C.S.S.B. 161 amends the Human Resources Code to authorize the Texas Department of Human Services 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 authorizes 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. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE C.S.S.B. 161 differs from the original by authorizing rather than requiring the Texas Department of Human Services and the Texas Workforce Commission to provide transitional support services to certain individuals no longer eligible for public assistance.