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GOVERNMENT CODE


TITLE 4. EXECUTIVE BRANCH


SUBTITLE I. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES


CHAPTER 523. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES COMMISSION


SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS



Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0001. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES COMMISSION; RESPONSIBILITY FOR DELIVERY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. (a) The Health and Human Services Commission is an agency of this state.

(b) The commission is the state agency with primary responsibility for ensuring the delivery of state health and human services in a manner that:

(1) uses an integrated system to determine client eligibility;

(2) maximizes the use of federal, state, and local funds; and

(3) emphasizes coordination, flexibility, and decision-making at the local level.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0002. GOALS. The commission's goals are to:

(1) maximize federal funds through the efficient use of available state and local resources;

(2) provide a system that delivers prompt, comprehensive, effective services to individuals of this state by:

(A) improving access to health and human services at the local level; and

(B) eliminating architectural, communication, programmatic, and transportation barriers;

(3) promote the health of individuals of this state by:

(A) reducing the incidence of disease and disabling conditions;

(B) increasing the availability and improving the quality of health care services;

(C) addressing the high incidence of certain illnesses and conditions in minority populations;

(D) increasing the availability of trained health care professionals;

(E) improving knowledge of health care needs;

(F) reducing infant death and disease;

(G) reducing the impacts of mental disorders in adults and emotional disturbances in children;

(H) increasing nutritional education and participation in nutrition programs; and

(I) reducing substance abuse;

(4) foster the development of responsible, productive, and self-sufficient citizens by:

(A) improving workforce skills;

(B) increasing employment, earnings, and benefits;

(C) increasing housing opportunities;

(D) increasing child-care and other dependent-care services;

(E) improving education and vocational training to meet specific career goals;

(F) reducing school dropouts and teen pregnancy;

(G) improving parental effectiveness;

(H) increasing support services for individuals with disabilities and services to help those individuals maintain or increase their independence;

(I) improving access to work sites, accommodations, transportation, and other public places and activities covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Section 12101 et seq.); and

(J) improving services for juvenile offenders;

(5) provide needed resources and services to individuals of this state when they cannot provide or care for themselves by:

(A) increasing support services for adults and their families during periods of unemployment, financial need, or homelessness;

(B) reducing extended dependency on basic support services; and

(C) increasing the availability and diversity of long-term care provided to support individuals with chronic conditions in settings that focus on community-based services, with options ranging from their own homes to total-care facilities;

(6) protect the physical and emotional safety of all individuals of this state by:

(A) reducing abuse, neglect, and exploitation of elderly individuals and adults with disabilities;

(B) reducing child abuse and neglect;

(C) reducing family violence;

(D) increasing services to children who are truant or who run away, or who are at risk of truancy or running away, and their families;

(E) reducing crime and juvenile delinquency;

(F) reducing community health risks; and

(G) improving regulation of human services providers; and

(7) improve the coordination and delivery of children's services.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0003. SUNSET PROVISION. The Health and Human Services Commission is subject to Chapter 325 (Texas Sunset Act). Unless continued in existence as provided by that chapter, the commission is abolished September 1, 2027, and Chapter 531 and revised provisions derived from Chapter 531, as that chapter existed on March 31, 2025, expire on that date.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0004. APPLICABILITY OF OTHER LAW. The commission is subject to Chapters 2001 and 2002.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.

SUBCHAPTER B. EXECUTIVE COMMISSIONER; PERSONNEL



Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0051. EXECUTIVE COMMISSIONER. (a) The commission is governed by an executive commissioner.

(b) The governor appoints the executive commissioner with the advice and consent of the senate, and shall make the appointment without regard to race, color, disability, sex, religion, age, or national origin.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0052. ELIGIBILITY FOR APPOINTMENT AS EXECUTIVE COMMISSIONER OR TO SERVE IN CERTAIN EMPLOYMENT POSITIONS. (a) In this section, "Texas trade association" means a cooperative and voluntarily joined statewide association of business or professional competitors in this state designed to assist its members and its industry or profession in dealing with mutual business or professional problems and in promoting their common interest.

(b) An individual may not be appointed as executive commissioner or be a commission employee employed in a "bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity," as that phrase is used for purposes of establishing an exemption to the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. Section 201 et seq.), if:

(1) the individual is an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a Texas trade association in the field of health and human services; or

(2) the individual's spouse is an officer, manager, or paid consultant of a Texas trade association in the field of health and human services.

(c) An individual may not be appointed as executive commissioner or act as the commission's general counsel if the individual is required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305 because of the individual's activities for compensation on behalf of a profession related to the commission's operation.

(d) An individual may not be appointed as executive commissioner if the individual has a financial interest in a corporation, organization, or association under contract with:

(1) the commission or a health and human services agency;

(2) a local mental health or intellectual and developmental disability authority; or

(3) a community center.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0053. TERM. The executive commissioner serves a two-year term expiring February 1 of each odd-numbered year.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0054. MEDICAL DIRECTOR; OTHER PERSONNEL. The executive commissioner:

(1) shall employ a medical director to provide medical expertise to the executive commissioner and the commission; and

(2) may employ other personnel necessary to administer the commission's duties.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0055. CAREER LADDER PROGRAM; PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS. (a) The executive commissioner shall develop an intra-agency career ladder program. The program must require the intra-agency posting of all non-entry-level positions concurrently with any public posting.

(b) The executive commissioner shall develop a system of annual performance evaluations based on measurable job tasks. All merit pay for commission employees must be based on the system established under this subsection.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0056. MERIT SYSTEM. (a) The commission may establish a merit system for commission employees.

(b) The merit system may be maintained in conjunction with other state agencies that are required by federal law to operate under a merit system.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0057. QUALIFICATIONS AND STANDARDS OF CONDUCT INFORMATION. The executive commissioner shall provide to commission employees as often as necessary information regarding their qualifications under this chapter and their responsibilities under applicable laws relating to standards of conduct for state employees.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0058. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY POLICY. (a) The executive commissioner shall prepare and maintain a written policy statement that implements a program of equal employment opportunity to ensure that all personnel transactions are made without regard to race, color, disability, sex, religion, age, or national origin.

(b) The policy statement must include:

(1) personnel policies, including policies relating to recruitment, evaluation, selection, training, and promotion of personnel, that show the commission's intent to avoid the unlawful employment practices described by Chapter 21, Labor Code; and

(2) an analysis of the extent to which the composition of the commission's personnel is in accordance with state and federal law and a description of reasonable methods to achieve compliance with state and federal law.

(c) The policy statement must be:

(1) updated annually;

(2) reviewed by the Texas Workforce Commission civil rights division for compliance with Subsection (b)(1); and

(3) filed with the governor's office.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0059. USE OF AGENCY STAFF. To the extent the commission requests, a health and human services agency shall assign existing staff to perform a function imposed under Chapter 531 or revised provisions derived from Chapter 531, as that chapter existed on March 31, 2025.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0060. CRIMINAL HISTORY BACKGROUND CHECKS. (a) In this section, "eligible individual" means an individual whose criminal history record information the executive commissioner or the executive commissioner's designee is entitled to obtain from the Department of Public Safety under Section 411.1106.

(b) The executive commissioner may require an eligible individual to submit fingerprints in a form and of a quality acceptable to the Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for use in conducting a criminal history background check by obtaining criminal history record information under Sections 411.087 and 411.1106.

(c) Criminal history record information the executive commissioner obtains under Sections 411.087 and 411.1106 may be used only to evaluate the qualification or suitability for employment, including continued employment, of an eligible individual.

(d) Notwithstanding Subsection (c), the executive commissioner or the executive commissioner's designee may release or disclose criminal history record information obtained under Section 411.087 only to a governmental entity or as otherwise authorized by federal law, including federal regulations and executive orders.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.

SUBCHAPTER C. EXECUTIVE COUNCIL



Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0101. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES COMMISSION EXECUTIVE COUNCIL. The Health and Human Services Commission Executive Council is established to receive public comment and advise the executive commissioner regarding the commission's operation.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0102. POWERS AND DUTIES. (a) The executive council shall seek and receive public comment on:

(1) proposed rules;

(2) advisory committee recommendations;

(3) legislative appropriations requests or other documents related to the appropriations process;

(4) the operation of health and human services programs; and

(5) other items the executive commissioner determines appropriate.

(b) The executive council does not have authority to make administrative or policy decisions.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0103. COMPOSITION. (a) The executive council is composed of:

(1) the executive commissioner;

(2) the director of each division the executive commissioner established under former Section 531.008(c) before the expiration of that subsection on September 1, 2023;

(3) the commissioner of a health and human services agency;

(4) the commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Services, regardless of whether that agency continues as a state agency separate from the commission; and

(5) other individuals the executive commissioner appoints as the executive commissioner determines necessary.

(b) To the extent the executive commissioner appoints members to the executive council under Subsection (a)(5), the executive commissioner shall make every effort to ensure that those appointments result in the executive council including:

(1) a balanced representation of a broad range of health and human services industry and consumer interests; and

(2) representation from broad geographic regions of this state.

(c) An executive council member appointed under Subsection (a)(5) serves at the executive commissioner's pleasure.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0104. ELIGIBILITY TO SERVE ON EXECUTIVE COUNCIL. (a) In this section, "Texas trade association" has the meaning assigned by Section 523.0052.

(b) An individual may not serve on the executive council if:

(1) the individual is an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a Texas trade association in the field of health and human services; or

(2) the individual's spouse is an officer, manager, or paid consultant of a Texas trade association in the field of health and human services.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0105. PRESIDING OFFICER; RULES FOR OPERATION. The executive commissioner serves as the chair of the executive council and shall adopt rules for the council's operation.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0106. MEETINGS; QUORUM. (a) The executive council shall meet at the executive commissioner's call at least quarterly. The executive commissioner may call additional meetings as the executive commissioner determines necessary.

(b) A majority of the executive council members constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business.

(c) The executive council shall comply with the requirements of Subchapter E, Chapter 522. The archived video and audio recording of a council meeting must be made available through the commission's Internet website.

(d) A meeting of individual executive council members that occurs in the ordinary course of commission operation is not a council meeting, and the requirements of Subsection (c) do not apply to the meeting.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0107. COMPENSATION; REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES. An executive council member appointed under Section 523.0103(a)(5) may not receive compensation for service as a council member but is entitled to reimbursement for travel expenses the member incurs while conducting council business as provided by the General Appropriations Act.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0108. PUBLIC COMMENT. The executive commissioner shall develop and implement policies that provide the public with a reasonable opportunity to appear before the executive council which may include holding meetings in various geographic areas across this state or allowing public comment at teleconferencing centers in various geographic areas across this state and to speak on any issue under the commission's jurisdiction.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0109. CONSTRUCTION OF SUBCHAPTER. This subchapter does not limit the executive commissioner's authority to establish additional advisory committees or councils.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0110. INAPPLICABILITY OF CERTAIN OTHER LAW. Except as provided by Section 522.0204, Chapters 551 and 2110 do not apply to the executive council.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.

SUBCHAPTER D. COMMISSION ORGANIZATION



Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0151. COMMISSION DIVISIONS. (a) The executive commissioner shall establish divisions within the commission along functional lines as necessary for effective administration and the discharge of the commission's functions.

(b) The executive commissioner may allocate and reallocate functions among the commission's divisions.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0152. DIVISION DIRECTOR APPOINTMENT AND QUALIFICATIONS. (a) The executive commissioner shall appoint a director for each division established within the commission under Section 523.0151, except that the director of the office of inspector general is appointed in accordance with Section 544.0101.

(b) The executive commissioner shall:

(1) develop clear qualifications for each director appointed under this section to ensure the director has:

(A) demonstrated experience in fields relevant to the director position; and

(B) executive-level administrative and leadership experience; and

(2) ensure the qualifications developed under Subdivision (1) are publicly available.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0153. DIVISION DIRECTOR DUTIES. (a) The executive commissioner shall clearly define the duties and responsibilities of a division director.

(b) The executive commissioner shall develop clear policies for the delegation to division directors of specific decision-making authority, including budget authority. The delegation should be significant enough to ensure the efficient administration of the commission's programs and services.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0154. DATA ANALYSIS UNIT; QUARTERLY UPDATE. (a) The executive commissioner shall establish a data analysis unit within the commission to establish, employ, and oversee data analysis processes designed to:

(1) improve contract management;

(2) detect data trends; and

(3) identify anomalies relating to service utilization, providers, payment methodologies, and compliance with requirements in Medicaid and child health plan program managed care and fee-for-service contracts.

(b) The commission shall assign to the data analysis unit staff who perform duties only in relation to the unit.

(c) The data analysis unit shall use all available data and tools for data analysis when establishing, employing, and overseeing data analysis processes under this section.

(d) Not later than the 30th day following the end of each calendar quarter, the data analysis unit shall provide an update on the unit's activities and findings to the governor, the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, and the chairs of the standing committees of the senate and house of representatives having jurisdiction over Medicaid.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0155. OFFICE OF POLICY AND PERFORMANCE. (a) In this section, "office" means the office of policy and performance established under this section.

(b) The executive commissioner shall establish the office of policy and performance as an executive-level office designed to coordinate policy and performance efforts across the health and human services system. To coordinate those efforts, the office shall:

(1) develop a performance management system;

(2) take the lead in providing support and oversight for the implementation of major policy changes and in managing organizational changes; and

(3) act as a centralized body of experts within the commission that offers program evaluation and process improvement expertise.

(c) In developing a performance management system under Subsection (b)(1), the office shall:

(1) gather, measure, and evaluate performance measures and accountability systems the health and human services system uses;

(2) develop new and refined performance measures as appropriate; and

(3) establish targeted, high-level system metrics capable of measuring overall performance and achievement of goals by the health and human services system and of communicating that performance and achievement to both internal and public audiences through various mechanisms, including the Internet.

(d) In providing support and oversight for the implementation of policy or organizational changes within the health and human services system under Subsection (b)(2), the office shall:

(1) ensure individuals receiving services from or participating in programs administered through the health and human services system do not lose visibility or attention during the implementation of any new policy or organizational change by:

(A) establishing timelines and milestones for any transition;

(B) supporting health and human services system staff in any change between service delivery methods; and

(C) providing feedback to executive management on technical assistance and other support needed to achieve a successful transition;

(2) address cultural differences among health and human services system staff; and

(3) track and oversee changes in policy or organization mandated by legislation or administrative rule.

(e) In acting as a centralized body of experts under Subsection (b)(3), the office shall:

(1) for the health and human services system, provide program evaluation and process improvement guidance both generally and for specific projects identified with executive or stakeholder input or through risk analysis; and

(2) identify and monitor cross-functional efforts involving different administrative components within the health and human services system and the establishment of cross-functional teams when necessary to improve the coordination of services provided through the system.

(f) Except as otherwise provided by this section, the executive commissioner may develop the office's structure and duties as the executive commissioner determines appropriate.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0156. PURCHASING UNIT. (a) The commission shall establish a purchasing unit to manage administrative activities related to the purchasing functions within the health and human services system.

(b) The purchasing unit shall:

(1) seek to achieve targeted cost reductions, increase process efficiencies, improve technological support and customer services, and enhance purchasing support within the health and human services system; and

(2) if cost-effective, contract with private entities to perform purchasing functions for the health and human services system.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.

SUBCHAPTER E. ADVISORY COMMITTEES



Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0201. ESTABLISHMENT OF ADVISORY COMMITTEES. The executive commissioner shall establish and maintain advisory committees to consider issues and solicit public input across all major areas of the health and human services system which may be from various geographic areas across this state, which may be done either in person or through teleconferencing centers, including relating to the following issues:

(1) Medicaid and other social services programs;

(2) managed care under Medicaid and the child health plan program;

(3) health care quality initiatives;

(4) aging;

(5) individuals with disabilities, including individuals with autism;

(6) rehabilitation, including for individuals with brain injuries;

(7) children;

(8) public health;

(9) behavioral health;

(10) regulatory matters;

(11) protective services; and

(12) prevention efforts.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0202. APPLICABILITY OF OTHER LAW. Chapter 2110 applies to an advisory committee established under this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0203. RULES FOR ADVISORY COMMITTEES. The executive commissioner shall adopt rules:

(1) in compliance with Chapter 2110 to govern the purpose, tasks, reporting requirements, and date of abolition of an advisory committee established under this subchapter; and

(2) related to an advisory committee's:

(A) size and quorum requirements;

(B) membership, including:

(i) member qualifications and any experience requirements;

(ii) required geographic representation;

(iii) appointment procedures; and

(iv) members' terms; and

(C) duty to comply with the requirements for open meetings under Chapter 551.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0204. PUBLIC ACCESS TO ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETINGS. (a) This section applies to an advisory committee established under this subchapter.

(b) The commission shall create a master calendar that includes all advisory committee meetings across the health and human services system.

(c) The commission shall make available on the commission's Internet website:

(1) the master calendar;

(2) all meeting materials for an advisory committee meeting; and

(3) streaming live video and audio of each advisory committee meeting.

(d) The commission shall provide Internet access in each room used for a meeting that appears on the master calendar.

(e) The commission shall ensure that, to the same extent and in the same manner as the broadcast, archiving, and notice of agency meetings are required under Subchapter E, Chapter 522, advisory committee meetings are:

(1) broadcast;

(2) archived on the Internet website of the agency to which the advisory committee provides advice; and

(3) subject to public notice requirements.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0205. ADVISORY COMMITTEE REPORTING. An advisory committee established under this subchapter shall:

(1) report any recommendations to the executive commissioner; and

(2) submit a written report to the legislature of any policy recommendations the advisory committee made to the executive commissioner under Subdivision (1).

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.

SUBCHAPTER F. PUBLIC INTEREST INFORMATION, INPUT, AND COMPLAINTS



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Sec. 523.0251. PUBLIC INTEREST INFORMATION AND INPUT GENERALLY. (a) The commission shall develop and implement policies that provide the public a reasonable opportunity to appear before the commission and speak on any issue under the commission's jurisdiction.

(b) The commission shall develop and implement routine and ongoing mechanisms, in accessible formats, to:

(1) receive consumer input;

(2) involve consumers in the planning, delivery, and evaluation of programs and services under the commission's jurisdiction; and

(3) communicate to the public regarding the input the commission receives under this section and actions taken in response to that input.

(c) The commission shall prepare information of public interest describing the commission's functions. The commission shall make the information available to the public and appropriate state agencies.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0252. PUBLIC HEARINGS. (a) The commission biennially shall conduct a series of public hearings in diverse locations throughout this state to give citizens of this state an opportunity to comment on health and human services issues. The commission shall conduct a sufficient number of hearings to allow reasonable access by citizens in both rural and urban areas, with an emphasis on geographic diversity.

(b) In conducting a public hearing under this section, the commission shall, to the greatest extent possible, encourage participation in the hearings process by diverse groups of citizens in this state.

(c) A public hearing held under this section is subject to Chapter 551.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0253. NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING. (a) In addition to the notice required by Chapter 551, the commission shall:

(1) publish notice of a public hearing under Section 523.0252 in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the hearing is to be held; and

(2) provide written notice of the hearing to public officials in the affected area.

(b) If the county in which the public hearing is to be held does not have a newspaper of general circulation, the commission shall publish notice in a newspaper of general circulation in an adjacent county or in the nearest county in which a newspaper of general circulation is published.

(c) Notice must be published once a week for two consecutive weeks before the public hearing, with the first publication appearing not later than the 15th day before the date set for the hearing.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0254. COMPLAINTS. (a) The commission shall prepare information of public interest describing the commission's procedures by which complaints are filed with and resolved by the commission. The commission shall make the information available to the public and appropriate state agencies.

(b) The executive commissioner by rule shall establish methods by which the public, consumers, and service recipients can be notified of the mailing addresses and telephone numbers of appropriate agency personnel for the purpose of directing complaints to the commission. The commission may provide for that notice:

(1) on each registration form, application, or written contract for services of a person the commission regulates;

(2) on a sign prominently displayed in the place of business of each person the commission regulates; or

(3) in a bill for service provided by a person the commission regulates.

(c) The commission shall:

(1) keep an information file about each complaint filed with the commission relating to:

(A) a license holder or entity the commission regulates; or

(B) a service the commission delivers; and

(2) maintain an information file about each complaint the commission receives relating to any other matter or agency under the commission's jurisdiction.

(d) If a written complaint is filed with the commission relating to a license holder or entity the commission regulates or a service the commission delivers, the commission, at least quarterly and until final disposition of the complaint, shall notify the parties to the complaint of the status of the complaint unless notice would jeopardize an undercover investigation.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0255. OFFICE OF OMBUDSMAN. (a) The executive commissioner shall establish the commission's office of the ombudsman with authority and responsibility over the health and human services system in performing the following functions:

(1) providing dispute resolution services for the health and human services system;

(2) performing consumer protection and advocacy functions related to health and human services, including assisting a consumer or other interested person with:

(A) raising a matter within the health and human services system that the person feels is being ignored; and

(B) obtaining information regarding a filed complaint; and

(3) collecting inquiry and complaint data related to the health and human services system.

(b) The office of the ombudsman does not have the authority to provide a separate process for resolving complaints or appeals.

(c) The executive commissioner shall develop a standard process for tracking and reporting received inquiries and complaints within the health and human services system. The process must provide for the centralized tracking of inquiries and complaints submitted to field, regional, or other local health and human services system offices.

(d) Using the process developed under Subsection (c), the office of the ombudsman shall collect inquiry and complaint data from all agencies, divisions, offices, and other entities within the health and human services system. To assist with the collection of data under this subsection, the office may access any system or process for recording inquiries and complaints the health and human services system uses or maintains.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.

SUBCHAPTER G. OFFICE OF HEALTH COORDINATION AND CONSUMER SERVICES



Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0301. DEFINITION. In this subchapter, "office" means the Office of Health Coordination and Consumer Services.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0302. OFFICE; STAFF. (a) The Office of Health Coordination and Consumer Services is an office within the commission.

(b) The executive commissioner shall employ staff as needed to carry out the duties of the office.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0303. GOALS. The goals of the office are to:

(1) promote community support for parents of children younger than six years of age through an integrated state and local-level decision-making process; and

(2) provide for the seamless delivery of health and human services to children younger than six years of age to ensure that children are prepared to succeed in school.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0304. STRATEGIC PLAN. (a) The office shall create and implement a statewide strategic plan for the delivery of health and human services to children younger than six years of age.

(b) In developing the statewide strategic plan, the office shall:

(1) consider existing programs and models to serve children younger than six years of age, including:

(A) community resource coordination groups;

(B) the Texas System of Care; and

(C) the Texas Information and Referral Network and the 2-1-1 telephone number for access to human services;

(2) attempt to maximize federal funds and local existing infrastructure and funds; and

(3) provide for local participation to the greatest extent possible.

(c) The statewide strategic plan must address the needs of children with disabilities who are younger than six years of age.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0305. POWERS AND DUTIES. (a) The office shall identify:

(1) gaps in early childhood services by functional area and geographical area;

(2) state policies, rules, and service procedures that prevent or inhibit children younger than six years of age from accessing available services;

(3) sources of funds for early childhood services, including federal, state, and private-public venture sources;

(4) opportunities for collaboration between the Texas Education Agency and health and human services agencies to better serve the needs of children younger than six years of age;

(5) methods for coordinating early childhood services provided by the Texas Head Start State Collaboration Office, the Texas Education Agency, and the Texas Workforce Commission;

(6) quantifiable benchmarks for success within early childhood service delivery; and

(7) national best practices in early care and educational delivery models.

(b) The office shall establish community outreach efforts and ensure adequate communication lines that provide:

(1) the office with information about community-level efforts; and

(2) communities with information about funds and programs available to communities.

(c) The office shall make recommendations to the commission on strategies to:

(1) ensure optimum collaboration and coordination between state agencies serving the needs of children younger than six years of age and other community stakeholders;

(2) fill functional and geographical gaps in early childhood services; and

(3) amend state policies, rules, and service procedures that prevent or inhibit children younger than six years of age from accessing services.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.


Text of section effective on April 01, 2025


Sec. 523.0306. TEXAS HOME VISITING PROGRAM TRUST FUND. (a) The Texas Home Visiting Program trust fund is a trust fund outside the treasury with the comptroller. The fund is administered by the office under this section and rules the executive commissioner adopts. Money in the fund is not state money and is not subject to legislative appropriation.

(b) The fund consists of money from voluntary contributions under Section 191.0048, Health and Safety Code, and Section 118.018, Local Government Code.

(c) The office may spend money in the fund without appropriation and only for the purpose of the Texas Home Visiting Program the commission administers.

(d) Interest and income from fund assets shall be credited to and deposited in the fund.

Added by Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 769 (H.B. 4611), Sec. 1.01, eff. April 1, 2025.