Bill Text: TX HB2614 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to a pilot program to increase the financial independence of foster children who are transitioning to independent living.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-04-23 - Left pending in committee [HB2614 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB2614-Introduced.html
  86R10544 MM-F
 
  By: Cole H.B. No. 2614
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to a pilot program to increase the financial independence
  of foster children who are transitioning to independent living.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter B, Chapter 264, Family Code, is
  amended by adding Section 264.1214 to read as follows:
         Sec. 264.1214.  PILOT PROGRAM FOR FINANCIAL TRANSITIONAL
  LIVING SERVICES. (a) The department shall establish a pilot
  program to assist foster children to achieve financial security and
  independence as the children transition to independent living.
         (b)  The department shall enter into an agreement with a
  credit union or other financial institution to establish savings
  accounts for foster children who, under an agreement with the
  department and credit union or other financial institution,
  participate in the pilot program. The agreement may include, as
  appropriate, the following terms:
               (1)  subject to Subsection (j), a prohibition on a
  foster child withdrawing money from the savings account until the
  earlier of:
                     (A)  the first anniversary of the date the first
  deposit is made into the savings account; or
                     (B)  the date the balance in the savings account
  first equals or exceeds $2,000;
               (2)  a requirement that the department and the credit
  union or other financial institution together encourage the foster
  children participating in the program to open private savings
  accounts once the participants are no longer eligible for foster
  care services; and
               (3)  procedures to transfer ownership and control of
  the account to the participants exiting the program who are no
  longer eligible for foster care services.
         (c)  The department may seek to partner with a person,
  including a foundation, to match the amounts of money deposited
  into the foster children savings accounts under the pilot program.
  The matching funds must be deposited directly into the child's
  savings account.
         (d)  The department and the person selected as a partner
  under Subsection (c) may jointly establish incentives to provide
  financial rewards to foster children for actions performed by the
  children, including college visits or attendance at financial
  education classes. The financial rewards may only be paid by the
  person and are not available for matching funds provided under
  Subsection (c).
         (e)  Not later than January 1 of each even-numbered year, the
  department may select not more than 20 foster children who are age
  16 or older to participate in the pilot program established under
  this section.
         (f)  Money that may be deposited in a foster child's savings
  account established under the pilot program includes:
               (1)  money earned by the child through employment or
  allowance;
               (2)  gift money;
               (3)  money deposited by the child's foster parent or by
  a parent or other relative of the child;
               (4)  money received from the person selected as a
  partner under Subsection (c) as financial incentives or matching
  funds; and
               (5)  other money authorized under the department's
  agreement with the credit union or other financial institution.
         (g)  The department shall survey each foster child who enters
  and exits the pilot program. The survey must be designed to assess
  any changes in the child's attitudes, perceptions, and knowledge
  about financial matters from the time the child entered the program
  until the child exited the program.
         (h)  The department shall complete an evaluation of the pilot
  program not later than December 31, 2024.
         (i)  The department shall submit a report on the evaluation
  of the pilot program conducted under Subsection (h) to the
  governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the house of
  representatives as soon as the evaluation is complete. The
  department shall submit a second report evaluating the pilot
  program to the governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the
  house of representatives not later than December 31, 2026.
         (j)  A foster child may not be denied the rights granted
  under Section 264.0111 to control money earned by the child that is
  deposited into a savings account under the pilot program.
         (k)  This section expires December 31, 2026.
         SECTION 2.  As soon as practicable after the effective date
  of this Act, the Department of Family and Protective Services shall
  establish the pilot program as required by Section 264.1214, Family
  Code, as added by this Act.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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