HBA-DMH C.S.S.B. 834 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.S.B. 834 By: Moncrief Human Services 4/10/2001 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The 75th Legislature authorized the establishment of an Internet site to provide the public with information on available health and human services throughout Texas. The individual health and human services agencies have each established separate sites. With cooperation from the agencies, the information could be coordinated and improved. C.S.S.B. 834 requires the Health and Human Services Commission in cooperation with the Department of Information Resources to establish and maintain, through the TexasOnline project, an accessible and interactive Internet site that contains information on each health and human services agency. 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 C.S.S.B. 834 amends the Government Code to require the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), in cooperation with the Department of Information Resources (department), to establish as soon as practicable after the effective date of this Act and to maintain through the TexasOnline project, a generally accessible and interactive Internet site that contains information for the public regarding services and programs provided or administered by each state health and human services agency (agency). The bill sets forth the information that must be included on the site, including eligibility criteria and application forms for public assistance programs. The bill provides that the site must contain the telephone number and, to the extent available, the electronic mail address for each agency and local provider of health and human services and be designed so that the public may submit questions and receive responses electronically. The site must be updated at least quarterly. The bill requires HHSC, in designing the site, to comply with any state standards for Internet sites prescribed by the department or any other state agency. The bill requires HHSC to ensure that the site does not contain confidential information and that the site's design and applications comply with generally acceptable standards for Internet accessibility for persons with disabilities and contain appropriate controls for information security. The bill requires an agency, the Texas Information and Referral Network, and the department to cooperate with HHSC to enable HHSC to perform its duties regarding the site. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE C.S.S.B. 834 differs from the original bill by providing that the Internet site must include application forms for specified public assistance programs. The substitute requires the Health and Human Services Commission to ensure that the site does not contain confidential information and that the site's design and applications meet acceptable standards for the accommodation of persons with disabilities. The substitute removes the provision that if the Department of Information Resources (department) has a program management office, the department is authorized to delegate its duties in relation to the Internet site to that office. The substitute requires the Texas information and Referral Network to coordinate with the department to maintain the Internet site for information regarding health and human services provided by public and private entities through the TexasOnline project.