Bill Text: TX HB1564 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the provision of certain support services to persons who are deaf-blind.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-04-16 - Left pending in committee [HB1564 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB1564-Introduced.html
  86R8550 KLA-F
 
  By: Hinojosa H.B. No. 1564
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the provision of certain support services to persons
  who are deaf-blind.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 81.001, Human Resources Code, is amended
  by adding Subdivision (1) to read as follows:
               (1)  "Commission" means the Health and Human Services
  Commission.
         SECTION 2.  Chapter 81, Human Resources Code, is amended by
  adding Section 81.014 to read as follows:
         Sec. 81.014.  SUPPORT SERVICES PROGRAM FOR PERSONS WHO ARE
  DEAF-BLIND. (a) In this section:
               (1)  "Communication mode" includes communication
  through:
                     (A)  auditory amplification, such as through a
  personal hearing aid or assistive listening device;
                     (B)  American Sign Language or Signed English; and
                     (C)  tactile American Sign Language.
               (2)  "Deaf-blind support services" means services
  provided to a person who is deaf-blind that assist the person with
  accessing the person's environment and allow the person to make
  informed decisions. The term includes providing visual and
  environmental information or sighted guide services and assisting
  with communication accessibility by communicating in the preferred
  language and communication mode of the person who is deaf-blind.
  The term does not include performing any of the following for the
  person:
                     (A)  providing personal care services to the
  person;
                     (B)  completing ordinary errands for the person;
                     (C)  making decisions for the person;
                     (D)  teaching or otherwise instructing the
  person; or
                     (E)  interpreting for the person in a formal
  setting, including a medical, legal, or business setting.
               (3)  "Program" means the deaf-blind support services
  program.
               (4)  "Provider of deaf-blind support services" means a
  person who is specially trained to provide deaf-blind support
  services.
         (b)  The commission shall operate a statewide deaf-blind
  support services program through which:
               (1)  deaf-blind support services are provided by
  providers of deaf-blind support services; and
               (2)  the commission reimburses the providers for the
  provision of the services.
         (c)  The executive commissioner by rule shall establish
  reimbursement rates to be paid to a provider of deaf-blind support
  services under the program. The reimbursement rates must use a
  tiered wage scale that is based on the provider's:
               (1)  level of training in communication modes for
  persons who are deaf-blind and in sighted guide-mobility
  techniques; and
               (2)  fluency in communication modes for persons who are
  deaf-blind.
         (d)  The commission shall ensure that quality deaf-blind
  support services are provided under the program by:
               (1)  monitoring the compliance of providers of
  deaf-blind support services with program rules;
               (2)  developing funding sources for the program that
  are in addition to state sources and will reduce reliance on the
  state sources for continuation of the program; and
               (3)  providing funding and technical assistance for
  training programs for:
                     (A)  providers of deaf-blind support services
  under the program; and
                     (B)  persons who are deaf-blind to enable those
  persons to effectively use the services offered under the program.
         (e)  The executive commissioner may establish an advisory
  committee to advise the commission in developing and operating the
  program, including operating the program in a manner that ensures
  the efficient use of state money. Subject to Section 2110.002,
  Government Code, the executive commissioner shall determine the
  number of members serving on the advisory committee, which must
  include persons who are deaf-blind and other stakeholders.
         (f)  The executive commissioner may adopt rules necessary
  to:
               (1)  operate the program in a manner that is efficient
  and maximizes the number of persons served; and
               (2)  ensure that providers of deaf-blind support
  services receiving reimbursement under the program have adequate
  training to provide those services.
         SECTION 3.  Not later than September 1, 2020:
               (1)  the executive commissioner of the Health and Human
  Services Commission shall adopt rules necessary to implement
  Section 81.014, Human Resources Code, as added by this Act; and
               (2)  the commission shall begin operating the program
  required by that section.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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