HBA-AMW H.B. 558 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 558 By: Tillery Criminal Jurisprudence 4/23/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Children's advocacy centers (CACs) operate to protect the best interests of child victims of abuse or neglect and offer information and therapeutic services in a child-friendly environment where child victims can feel safe sharing their experiences. CACs have been established to enhance the sensitivity and responsiveness of the criminal and civil justice systems to child victims and their families, provide vital medical and mental health services for these children and their families, and facilitate the prosecution of defendants convicted of child abuse. Although CACs receive funding from the state, many centers rely heavily on private donations to continue to provide services to child victims. CACs could be further supported if convicted defendants were court ordered to pay restitution to a center that provided services to the victims. Current law does not authorize a court to order money to be directly paid to a CAC for services rendered to victims. House Bill 558 authorizes a court to order a defendant to pay restitution to a CAC that provided services to the victim and specifies that the center must provide documentation of the services rendered. 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 558 amends the Code of Criminal Procedure to authorize a court that sentences a defendant to order the defendant to pay restitution to a children's advocacy center that provided services to the victim in addition to any other restitution orders. The bill establishes that a children's advocacy center must provide the court with sufficient documentation to establish actual provision of services to the victim and actual cost of those services to be eligible to receive such restitution. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.