HBA-MPM H.B. 2395 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2395 By: Chavez Human Services 3/13/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The federal government substantially limited the eligibility of immigrants for public assistance benefits in 1996. Texas, which has a large percentage of legal immigrants, saw a 12 percent decline in public assistance caseloads resulting from the 1996 federal policy change. Communities along the Texas-Mexico border were hit particularly hard, and health and nutrition problems are on the rise in these communities Current law makes legal immigrants who entered the United States on or after August 26, 1996 eligible for financial assistance five years after they become legal permanent residents. In order to exercise the options, the state must elect to give legal immigrants access to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF) benefits after the five-year bar. House Bill 2395 provides TANF benefits to legal aliens who meet federal and state eligibility requirements. 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 2395 amends the Human Resources Code to require the Texas Department of Human Services to provide Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in accordance with federal law to a person who: _is a qualified alien, as defined by federal law; _meets TANF eligibility requirements; _entered the United States on or after August 22, 1996; and _has resided in the United States for a period of five years after the date the person entered as a qualified alien. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.