HBA-MPM H.B. 1696 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1696 By: Hardcastle Human Services 3/11/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE In 1987, the Texas Legislature established the Interagency Council on Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders (council) to develop a state plan to provide services to persons with autism or other pervasive developmental disorders. The council is currently composed of two public members who are family members of a person with autism or a pervasive development disorder and one representative each from the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, Texas Department of Health, Texas Department of Human Services, Texas Education Agency, and the Texas Rehabilitation Commission. The law expressly prohibits members from receiving reimbursement for expenses and forbids the council from spending funds for staff salaries or for implementation of the state plan. The limitations on spending inhibit the council's ability to accomplish its statutory duties. House Bill 1696 expands the council's spending authority and modifies the composition of the council. 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 House Bill 1696 amends the Human Resources Code to modify the composition of the Interagency Council on Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders (council). The bill increases the number of public members on the council from two to seven, and specifies that the majority rather than all of the public members are family members of a person with autism or a pervasive disorder. The bill requires the governor to appoint the five new council members as soon as possible after the effective date of this Act. The bill provides that agency representatives serve as ex officio members and specifies that an ex officio member serves in an advisory capacity only and is prohibited from serving as chairperson of the council or voting. The bill also adds a representative from the Interagency Council on Early Childhood Intervention as an ex officio member of the council. The bill entitles public members of the council to reimbursement for travel expenses. The bill authorizes the council to employ staff and expend funds on staff salaries, in addition to the support staff provided by the agencies represented on the council. The bill removes the prohibition on the council spending funds to implement the state plan to provide services to persons with autism or other pervasive developmental disorders. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.