HBA-MPM S.B. 115 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 115 By: Madla Public Health 4/24/2001 Committee Report (Amended) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE In its Interim Report to the 77th Legislature, the House Select Committee on Rural Development found a substantial gap between urban and rural health care, with rural areas having fewer professional health care providers and hospitals. According to the Center for Rural Health Initiatives (center), more than half of Texas' rural counties (101 out of 196) are considered health professional shortage areas. The center is the primary state resource in planning, coordinating, and advocating statewide efforts to ensure continued access to rural health care services. There are many national, regional, and in-state foundations that award grants to nonprofit organizations for a variety of programs, but do not award grants to governmental entities. A nonprofit foundation established under the umbrella of the center could help bring additional dollars to Texas to support rural health programs. Senate Bill 115 requires the center to establish the Rural Health Foundation as a nonprofit organization to raise money to finance health programs in rural areas. 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 Senate Bill 115 amends the Health and Safety Code to require the Center for Rural Health Initiatives (center) to establish no later than June 1, 2002 the Rural Health Foundation (foundation) as a nonprofit corporation that qualifies as an organization exempt from federal income tax. Additionally, the bill exempts all income, property, and other assets belonging to the foundation from state tax. The center is required to ensure that the foundation operate independently of any state agency or state political subdivision. The bill requires the foundation to raise money to finance health programs in rural areas of Texas and gives the foundation the powers necessary and convenient to carry out its duties. The bill provides that the executive committee of the center appoint a board of five directors to govern the foundation and establishes restrictions on board appointment, membership, and employment. The bill sets forth terms of office and establishes procedures for removing board members and filling vacancies. The bill provides for the administration and operation of the board, including the maintenance of financial records. The bill requires the foundation no later than the 60th day after the last day of the fiscal year to submit to the center an itemized report regarding income and expenditures and describing the foundation's activities during the preceding fiscal year. The center is required to include the foundation's activities in the biennial report submitted to the legislature. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001. EXPLANATION OF AMENDMENTS Committee Amendment No. 1 requires the Center for Rural Health Initiatives (center) to obtain information from each state agency, university, medical school, rural community, or any other rural health care provider that has expended public funds to perform a study, conduct a demonstration project or grant, or develop programs related to rural health care during the biennium. The amendment further requires the center to include this information in its report to the legislature.