Law:Title 4. Executive Branch. Subtitle F. Commerce And Industrial Development from Chapter 487. Texas Department Of Rural (Texas)

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Subtitle F. Commerce And Industrial Development

Contents

Chapter 487. Texas Department Of Rural

AFFAIRS


Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section 487.001.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Board" means the board of the Texas Department of Rural Affairs.

(2)  "Department" means the Texas Department of Rural Affairs.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.002.  Sunset Provision.

The Texas Department of Rural Affairs is subject to Chapter 325 (Texas Sunset Act).  Unless continued in existence as provided by that chapter, the department is abolished and this chapter expires September 1, 2013.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 2, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter B. Administrative Provisions

Section 487.021.  Board.

(a) The board is the governing body of the department.

(b)  The board is composed of the following 11 members:

(1)  four members who represent different geographic regions of the state appointed by the governor, including:

(A)  two locally elected rural city or county officials or city or county employees involved with rural development; and

(B)  two public members each of whom resides in a rural city or county;

(2)  three public members appointed by the governor from a list of nominees submitted by the lieutenant governor;

(3)  three public members appointed by the governor from a list of nominees submitted by the speaker of the house of representatives; and

(4)  the commissioner of agriculture or the commissioner's designee.

(b-1)  The individuals nominated by the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the house of representatives must reside in a rural city or county and be interested in rural issues.  In making an appointment under Subsection (b)(2) or (3), the governor may reject one or more of the nominees on a list submitted by the lieutenant governor or the speaker of the house of representatives and request a new list of different nominees.

(c)  In this section, "rural city or county" means a rural city or county as defined by the federal community development block grant nonentitlement program.

(d)  Appointments to the board shall be made without regard to the race, color, disability, sex, religion, age, or national origin of the appointees.

(e)  The members of the board who are not serving as an additional duty of an office in state government serve for staggered six-year terms, with the terms of three or four members expiring February 1 of each odd-numbered year.

(f)  Board members receive no compensation but are entitled to reimbursement of actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.

(g)  The governor shall designate a member of the board as the presiding officer of the board to serve in that capacity at the will of the governor.

(h)  Service on the board by the commissioner of agriculture or an officer of a county or municipality is an additional duty of the individual's office.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 3, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 11, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  487.022.  Conflicts Of Interest.

(a) In this section, "Texas trade association" means a cooperative and voluntarily joined association of business or professional competitors in this state designed to assist its members and its industry or profession in dealing with mutual business or professional problems and in promoting their common interest.

(b)  A person may not be a member of the board and may not be a department employee employed in a "bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity," as that phrase is used for purposes of establishing an exemption to the overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. Section 201 et seq.) and its subsequent amendments, if:

(1)  the person is an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a Texas trade association in the field of rural affairs; or

(2)  the person's spouse is an officer, manager, or paid consultant of a Texas trade association in the field of rural affairs.

(c)  A person may not be a member of the board or act as the general counsel to the board or the department if the person is required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305 because of the person's activities for compensation on behalf of a profession related to the operation of the department.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 4, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 12, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.023.  Training For Members Of Board.

(a) A person who is appointed to and qualifies for office as a member of the board may not vote, deliberate, or be counted as a member in attendance at a meeting of the board until the person completes a training program that complies with this section.

(b)  The training program must provide the person with information regarding:

(1)  the legislation that created the department;

(2)  the programs, functions, rules, and budget of the department;

(3)  the results of the most recent formal audit of the department;

(4)  the requirements of laws relating to open meetings, public information, administrative procedure, and conflicts of interest; and

(5)  any applicable ethics policies adopted by the department or the Texas Ethics Commission.

(c)  A person appointed to the board is entitled to reimbursement, as provided by the General Appropriations Act, for the travel expenses incurred in attending the training program regardless of whether the attendance at the program occurs before or after the person qualifies for office.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2002.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 5, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 13, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.024.  Removal.

(a) It is a ground for removal from the board that a member:

(1)  does not have at the time of taking office the qualifications required by Section 487.021;

(2)  does not maintain during service on the board the qualifications required by Section 487.021;

(3)  is ineligible for membership under Section 487.022;

(4)  cannot, because of illness or disability, discharge the member's duties for a substantial part of the member's term; or

(5)  is absent from more than half of the regularly scheduled board meetings that the member is eligible to attend during a calendar year without an excuse approved by a majority vote of the board.

(b)  The validity of an action of the board is not affected by the fact that it is taken when a ground for removal of a board member exists.

(c)  If the executive director has knowledge that a potential ground for removal exists, the executive director shall notify the presiding officer of the board of the potential ground.  The presiding officer shall then notify the appointing authority and the attorney general that a potential ground for removal exists.  If the potential ground for removal involves the presiding officer, the executive director shall notify the next highest ranking officer of the board, who shall then notify the appointing authority and the attorney general that a potential ground for removal exists.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 5, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section 487.025.  Division Of Responsibility.

The board shall develop and implement policies that clearly separate the policy-making responsibilities of the board and the management responsibilities of the executive director and staff of the department.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 5, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 14, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.026.  Executive Director.

(a) The board may hire an executive director to serve as the chief executive officer of the department and to perform the administrative duties of the department.

(b)  The executive director serves at the will of the board.

(c)  The executive director may hire staff within guidelines established by the board.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 5, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 15, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.027.  Public Hearings.

The board shall develop and implement policies that provide the public with a reasonable opportunity to appear before the board and to speak on any issue under the jurisdiction of the department.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 5, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 16, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  487.028.  Equal Employment Opportunity Policy Statement.

(a) The executive director or the executive director's designee shall prepare and maintain a written policy statement that implements a program of equal employment opportunity to ensure that all personnel decisions are made without regard to race, color, disability, sex, religion, age, or national origin.

(b)  The policy statement must include:

(1)  personnel policies, including policies relating to recruitment, evaluation, selection, training, and promotion of personnel, that show the intent of the department to avoid the unlawful employment practices described by Chapter 21, Labor Code; and

(2)  an analysis of the extent to which the composition of the department's personnel is in accordance with state and federal law and a description of reasonable methods to achieve compliance with state and federal law.

(c)  The policy statement must be:

(1)  updated annually;

(2)  reviewed by the state Commission on Human Rights for compliance with Subsection (b)(1); and

(3)  filed with the governor's office.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 17, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.029.  Standards Of Conduct.

The executive director or the executive director's designee shall provide to members of the board and to agency employees, as often as necessary, information regarding the requirements for office or employment under this chapter, including information regarding a person's responsibilities under applicable laws relating to standards of conduct for state officers or employees.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 6, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section 487.030.  Complaints.

(a) The department shall maintain a system to promptly and efficiently act on complaints filed with the department.  The department shall maintain information about parties to the complaint, the subject matter of the complaint, a summary of the results of the review or investigation of the complaint, and its disposition.

(b)  The department shall make information available describing its procedures for complaint investigation and resolution.

(c)  The department shall periodically notify the complaint parties of the status of the complaint until final disposition.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 7, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 18, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.031.  Use Of Technology.

The board shall implement a policy requiring the department to use appropriate technological solutions to improve the department's ability to perform its functions.  The policy must ensure that the public is able to interact with the department on the Internet.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 8, eff. June 15, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 19, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.032.  Negotiated Rulemaking And Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures.

(a) The board shall develop and implement a policy to encourage the use of:

(1)  negotiated rulemaking procedures under Chapter 2008 for the adoption of department rules; and

(2)  appropriate alternative dispute resolution procedures under Chapter 2009 to assist in the resolution of internal and external disputes under the department's jurisdiction.

(b)  The department's procedures relating to alternative dispute resolution must conform, to the extent possible, to any model guidelines issued by the State Office of Administrative Hearings for the use of alternative dispute resolution by state agencies.

(c)  The board shall designate a trained person to:

(1)  coordinate the implementation of the policy adopted under Subsection (a);

(2)  serve as a resource for any training needed to implement the procedures for negotiated rulemaking or alternative dispute resolution; and

(3)  collect data concerning the effectiveness of those procedures, as implemented by the department.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 8, eff. June 15, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 20, eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter C. General Powers And Duties

Section 487.051.  Powers And Duties.

(a) The department shall:

(1)  assist rural communities in the key areas of economic development, community development, rural health, and rural housing;

(2)  serve as a clearinghouse for information and resources on all state and federal programs affecting rural communities;

(3)  in consultation with rural community leaders, locally elected officials, state elected and appointed officials, academic and industry experts, and the interagency work group created under this chapter, identify and prioritize policy issues and concerns affecting rural communities in the state;

(4)  make recommendations to the legislature to address the concerns affecting rural communities identified under Subdivision (3);

(5)  monitor developments that have a substantial effect on rural Texas communities, especially actions of state government, and compile an annual report describing and evaluating the condition of rural communities;

(6)  administer the federal community development block grant nonentitlement program;

(7)  administer programs supporting rural health care as provided by this chapter;

(8)  perform research to determine the most beneficial and cost-effective ways to improve the welfare of rural communities;

(9)  ensure that the department qualifies as the state's office of rural health for the purpose of receiving grants from the Office of Rural Health Policy of the United States Department of Health and Human Services under 42 U.S.C. Section 254r;

(10)  manage the state's Medicare rural hospital flexibility program under 42 U.S.C. Section 1395i-4;

(11)  seek state and federal money available for economic development in rural areas for programs under this chapter;

(12)  in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, regularly cross-train department employees with employees of the Department of Agriculture regarding the programs administered and services provided by each agency to rural communities; and

(13)  work with interested persons to assist volunteer fire departments and emergency services districts in rural areas.

(b)  The department may require department employees who work at locations other than the central office to be based in Department of Agriculture offices.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 9.006(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 560, Sec. 1, eff. June 16, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 9, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87, Sec. 11.007, eff. September 1, 2009.

Reenacted and amended by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 21, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.052.  Rules.

The board may adopt rules as necessary to implement this chapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 10, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section  487.053.  Gifts And Grants.

(a) The department may accept gifts, grants, and donations from any organization for the purpose of funding any activity under this chapter, and the department shall actively seek funding from appropriate nonprofit foundations.

(b)  All gifts, grants, and donations must be accepted in an open meeting by a majority of the voting members of the board and reported in the public record of the meeting with the name of the donor and purpose of the gift, grant, or donation.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 11, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 22, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  487.054.  Annual Meeting On Rural Issues.

(a) At least once each year, the following agency heads or their designees shall meet in Austin to discuss rural issues and to provide information showing the impact each agency has on rural communities for use in developing rural policy and compiling the annual report under Section 487.051(a)(5):

(1)  the commissioner of agriculture;

(2)  the executive director of the Public Utility Commission of Texas;

(3)  the director of the Texas Agricultural Extension Service;

(4)  the executive director of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs;

(5)  the commissioner of the Department of State Health Services;

(6)  the executive administrator of the Texas Water Development Board;

(7)  the executive director of the Parks and Wildlife Department;

(8)  the commissioner of higher education;

(9)  the comptroller;

(10)  the executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation;

(11)  the executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality;

(12)  the executive director of the Texas Economic Development and Tourism Office;

(13)  the commissioner of insurance;

(14)  the commissioner of the Department of Aging and Disability Services;

(15)  the commissioner of education;

(16)  the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission;

(17)  the executive director of the Texas Workforce Commission;

(18)  the executive director of the Texas Historical Commission;

(19)  a member of the Railroad Commission of Texas;

(20)  the executive director of the State Soil and Water Conservation Board;

(21)  the executive director of the department; and

(22)  the head of any other agency interested in rural issues.

(b)  The board shall call the annual meeting.  The board shall set the time and date of the meeting after consulting with the agency heads listed in Subsection (a).

(c)  In addition to the individuals identified by Subsection (a), the governor shall designate a representative from the entity that provides mediation services to the state under 7 U.S.C. Section 5102 to attend meetings held under this section.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1025, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 415, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 831, Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2008.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 12, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 23, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  487.0541.  Interagency Work Group.

(a) An interagency work group is created to:

(1)  develop a process to allow agencies to work together on issues that face rural communities;

(2)  discuss and coordinate programs and services offered to rural communities and residents of rural communities; and

(3)  develop regulatory and legislative recommendations that would eliminate duplication and combine program services.

(b)  The work group is composed of a representative from each agency listed in or participating under Section 487.054(a) appointed by the executive head of the agency.

(c)  The work group shall meet at the call of the executive director of the department.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1025, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 24, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.055.  Advisory Committees.

The board may appoint advisory committees as necessary to assist the board in performing its duties.  An advisory committee may be composed of private citizens and representatives from state and local governmental entities.  A state or local governmental entity shall appoint a representative to an advisory committee at the request of the board.  Chapter 2110 does not apply to an advisory committee created under this section.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 13, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section 487.056.  Report To Legislature.

(a) Not later than January 1 of each odd-numbered year, the department shall submit a biennial report to the legislature regarding the activities of the department, the activities of the Texas Rural Foundation, and any findings and recommendations relating to rural issues.

(b)  The department shall obtain information from each county about indigent health care provided in the county and information from each university, medical school, rural community, or rural health care provider that has performed a study relating to rural health care during the biennium.  The department shall include the information obtained under this subsection in the department's report to the legislature.

(c)  The department shall obtain information on the availability of housing in rural communities throughout the state for all income levels.  The department shall include the information, and the department's assessment of the information, in the department's report to the legislature.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 9.006(b)3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 542, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 14, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 25, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.057.  Rural Health Work Plan.

(a) The department shall develop, implement, and update a rural health work plan.

(b)  The department shall submit the rural health work plan to the board for approval.  The board shall approve the rural health work plan not later than August 1 of each odd-numbered year.

(c)  The department shall work with health care providers, rural communities, universities, and all health and human service related state agencies to develop the rural health work plan.  The department shall solicit public comment on the rural health work plan.

(d)  The rural health work plan must identify:

(1)  the mission, goals, and objectives of how the department will work to assist rural communities in meeting rural health care needs;

(2)  ways for the state to effectively and creatively address the unmet health care needs of rural communities;

(3)  ways to coordinate the administration and delivery of rural health care service with federal, state, and local public and private programs that provide similar services; and

(4)  the department's priorities to accomplish the objectives of the plan.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 15, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 26, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.058.  Contract For Administrative Services.

(a) The department shall enter into an interagency contract with another state agency to provide routine administrative services for the department.

(b)  The Legislative Budget Board and the Department of Information Resources shall:

(1)  evaluate and recommend the most efficient and appropriate ways to obtain the administrative services under Subsection (a); and

(2)  assist the department with contracting and any other matters relating to obtaining the administrative services in the most efficient manner.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 27, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  487.059.  Disclosure Of Financial Interest Or Employment.

(a) In this section:

(1)  "Financial interest in an entity" includes holding an ownership interest in the entity or being employed by the entity.

(2)  "Monetary award" means any money, fund, stipend, grant, scholarship, loan, or loan guarantee awarded under this chapter.

(b)  If a member of the board or a committee established under this chapter, including an advisory committee, has a financial interest in an entity that applies for a monetary award, the board or committee member shall, before a vote on the monetary award, disclose the fact of the board or committee member's financial interest.  The board or committee shall enter the disclosure into the minutes of the meeting at which a vote on the monetary award is taken.  The board or committee member may not vote on or otherwise participate in a discussion or any other activity that relates to awarding the monetary award.  If the board or committee member does not comply with this subsection, the entity is not eligible for the monetary award.

(c)  If the executive director or another department employee has a financial interest in an entity that applies for a monetary award, the executive director or employee:

(1)  shall, as soon as possible, disclose to the board the fact of the director's or employee's financial interest;

(2)  may not participate in staff evaluations regarding the monetary award; and

(3)  if the executive director or employee under department procedures may vote, or make a recommendation concerning a vote, on a matter that involves the monetary award:

(A)  shall disclose the fact of the director's or employee's financial interest before a vote on the monetary award, which the board or committee shall enter into the minutes of the meeting at which a vote on the monetary award is taken; and

(B)  may not vote on or otherwise participate in a discussion or any other activity that relates to awarding the monetary award.

(d)  If the executive director does not comply with Subsection (c), the entity in which the executive director has a financial interest is not eligible for the monetary award.

(e)  Subsections (f) and (g) apply only to a member of the board or a committee who is employed by:

(1)  an entity that offers to enter into a contract with the department; or

(2)  an entity that is under common ownership or governance with or otherwise affiliated with an entity that applies for a monetary award or offers to enter into a contract with the department.

(f)  The board or committee member shall, before a vote on the monetary award or contract, disclose the fact of the member's employment by the entity.  The board or committee shall enter the disclosure into the minutes of the meeting at which a vote on the monetary award or contract is taken.  The board or committee member may not vote on or otherwise participate in a discussion or any other activity that relates to awarding the monetary award or contract.

(g)  If the board or committee member does not comply with Subsection (f), the entity is not eligible to be awarded the monetary award or contract.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1186, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 16, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 28, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.060.  Report To Secretary Of State.

(a) In this section, "colonia" means a geographic area that:

(1)  is an economically distressed area as defined by Section 17.921, Water Code;

(2)  is located in a county any part of which is within 62 miles of an international border; and

(3)  consists of 11 or more dwellings that are located in close proximity to each other in an area that may be described as a community or neighborhood.

(b)  To assist the secretary of state in preparing the report required under Section 405.021, the department on a quarterly basis shall provide a report to the secretary of state detailing any projects funded by the department that serve colonias by providing water or wastewater services, paved roads, or other assistance.

(c)  The report must include:

(1)  a description of any relevant projects;

(2)  the location of each project;

(3)  the number of colonia residents served by each project;

(4)  the exact amount spent or the anticipated amount to be spent on each colonia served by each project;

(5)  a statement of whether each project is completed and, if not, the expected completion date of the project; and

(6)  any other information, as determined appropriate by the secretary of state.

(d)  The department shall require an applicant for funds administered by the department to submit to the department a colonia classification number, if one exists, for each colonia that may be served by the project proposed in the application.  If a colonia does not have a classification number, the department may contact the secretary of state or the secretary of state's representative to obtain a number.  On request of the department, the secretary of state or the secretary of state's representative shall assign a classification number.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 828, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 341, Sec. 2, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 29, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.061.  Emergency Services District Program.

(a) The department shall establish a program to provide interested rural communities with:

(1)  general information about emergency services districts;

(2)  information and training related to the establishment of an emergency services district; and

(3)  technical assistance related to the implementation of an emergency services district.

(b)  The program may:

(1)  assist fire departments in rural areas with the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters;

(2)  provide to fire departments in rural areas information relating to assistance programs offered to rural volunteer firefighters, including the federal Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant program to help fire departments increase staffing and deployment capabilities; and

(3)  provide to rural homeowners information relating to the benefits of volunteer fire departments, including a reduction in homeowners insurance risk ratings, lower homeowners insurance rates, and better fire protection.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 634, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 560, Sec. 2, eff. June 16, 2007.

Renumbered from Government Code, Section 487.060 by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 921, Sec. 17.001(29), eff. September 1, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 30, eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter D. Outstanding Rural Scholar Recognition And Loan Program For Rural Health Care

Section  487.101.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Selection committee" means the Outstanding Rural Scholar Selection Committee.

(2)  "Fund" means the outstanding rural scholar fund.

(3)  "Postsecondary educational institution" means:

(A)  an institution of higher education, as defined by Section 61.003, Education Code;

(B)  a nonprofit, independent institution approved under Section 61.222, Education Code; or

(C)  a nonprofit, health-related school or program accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the American Osteopathic Association, the Texas Board of Nursing, or, in the case of allied health, an accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.

(4)  "Program" means the outstanding rural scholar recognition and loan program for rural health care.

(5)  "Rural community" means a municipality in a nonmetropolitan county as defined by the United States Census Bureau in its most recent census.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 553, Sec. 2.004, eff. Feb. 1, 2004.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 889, Sec. 56, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 487.102.  Administration.

The department shall administer or contract for the administration of the program.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 31, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  487.103.  Selection Committee.

(a) The selection committee shall advise the board on the progress of the program.

(b)  The selection committee is composed of 12 members appointed by the board.

(c)  The board shall consider geographical representation in making appointments to the selection committee.

(d)  Selection committee members serve for staggered three-year terms, with the terms of four members expiring August 31 of each year. A member is eligible for reappointment to consecutive terms.

(e)  A member of the selection committee is not entitled to reimbursement for expenses incurred in performing duties under this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 17, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section  487.104.  Selection Of Outstanding Rural Scholars.

(a) The selection committee shall select outstanding rural scholars through a statewide competition.

(b)  The selection committee shall make selections based on criteria approved by the board and adopted as a rule of the department.

(c)  The selection committee may not use the applicant's performance on a standardized test as the sole criterion to determine the applicant's selection as an outstanding rural scholar.

(d)  The selection committee shall recommend to the board guidelines to be used by rural communities in the selection of students for nomination and sponsorship as outstanding rural scholars.

(e)  An outstanding rural scholar receives public recognition and a certificate of award and is eligible for a forgivable loan under this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 18, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 32, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  487.105.  Eligibility For Outstanding Rural Scholar Competition.

(a) To be eligible to participate in the competition under Section 487.104, a high school student or an undergraduate student at a postsecondary educational institution must:

(1)  be nominated and sponsored by a rural community, which sponsorship must include financial support;

(2)  be a Texas resident under Subchapter B, Chapter 54, Education Code;

(3)  if the person is a high school student, be in the upper 25 percent of the student's high school class, if the class contains 48 or more students, and intend to enter a postsecondary educational institution; and

(4)  if the person is an undergraduate student, be in the upper 25 percent of the student's class or have a cumulative grade average that is equal to or greater than the equivalent of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and be enrolled in a postsecondary educational institution.

(b)  If a person is neither a high school student nor an undergraduate student, the person must be eligible for participation in the competition under rules adopted by the department.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 33, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  487.106.  Eligibility For Loans; Rural Community Financial Support.

(a) For an outstanding rural scholar to be eligible for a forgivable loan, community sponsorship must include financial support.

(b)  Community financial support consists of a commitment to fund 50 percent of the costs of a scholar's tuition, fees, educational materials, and living expenses.

(c)  The financial support under this section may be satisfied wholly or partly by a grant, a scholarship, or private foundation support.

(d)  Evidence of the financial support must be submitted with a community's nomination.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section 487.107.  Awarding Of Loans.

(a) The selection committee shall recommend to the board guidelines for the awarding of forgivable loans to outstanding rural scholars.

(b)  The board, acting on the advice of the selection committee, shall award forgivable loans to outstanding rural scholars based on the availability of money in the fund.

(c)  If in any year the fund is inadequate to provide loans to all eligible applicants, the board shall award forgivable loans on a priority basis according to the applicants' academic performance, test scores, and other criteria of eligibility.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 19, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section  487.108.  Amount Of Loan.

(a) On confirmation of an outstanding rural scholar's admission to a postsecondary educational institution, or on receipt of an enrollment report of the scholar at a postsecondary educational institution, and a certification of the amount of financial support needed, the selection committee annually shall recommend to the board that the board award a forgivable loan to the scholar in the amount of 50 percent of the cost of the scholar's tuition, fees, educational materials, and living expenses.

(b)  An outstanding rural scholar may receive another grant, loan, or scholarship for which the scholar is eligible in addition to the receipt of a forgivable loan, except that the total amount of funds received may not exceed the reasonable needs of the scholar.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 20, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section  487.109.  Loan Forgiveness.

(a) The principal balance and interest for one year of a forgivable loan awarded to an outstanding rural scholar must be forgiven for each year the scholar practices as a health care professional in the sponsoring community.

(b)  The sponsoring community shall report to the board the length of time the scholar practices as a health care professional in the community.

(c)  If the board finds that a sponsoring community is not in need of the scholar's services and that the community is willing to forgive repayment of the principal balance and interest of the scholar's loan, the board by rule may provide for the principal balance and interest of one year of the scholar's loan to be forgiven for each year the scholar practices in another rural community in this state.

(d)  Any amount of loan principal or interest that is not forgiven under this section shall be repaid to the department with reasonable collection fees in a timely manner as provided by board rule.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 21, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 34, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  487.110.  Fund.

(a) The outstanding rural scholar fund is in the state treasury.

(b)  The fund consists of legislative appropriations, gifts, grants, donations, the market value of in-kind contributions, and principal and interest payments on forgivable loans deposited to the credit of the fund by the department.

(c)  The department shall administer the fund.

(d)  The department shall allocate the fund, as available, for forgivable loans under this subchapter.

(e)  The department shall deposit any principal and interest payments on forgivable loans to the credit of the fund.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 35, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  487.111.  Postsecondary Educational Institutions; Monitoring.

(a) A postsecondary educational institution shall provide to the selection committee a copy of the academic transcript of each rural scholar for whom the institution has received a release that complies with state and federal open records laws and authorizes the provision of a transcript.

(b)  The department shall require reports from students and postsecondary educational institutions as needed to monitor the program.  After receiving any necessary releases as a condition of providing assistance, the department shall distribute reports relating to the progress of an outstanding rural scholar to the community sponsoring the scholar.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 36, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.112.  Adoption And Distribution Of Rules.

(a) The board shall adopt reasonable rules to enforce the requirements, conditions, and limitations under this subchapter.

(b)  The board shall set the rate of interest charged on a forgivable loan under this subchapter.

(c)  The board shall adopt rules necessary to ensure compliance with the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. Section 2000a et seq.) concerning nondiscrimination in admissions.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 22, eff. June 15, 2007.



Subchapter E. Health Careers Promotion And Education Program

Section  487.151.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Fund" means the health careers education fund.

(2)  "Postsecondary educational institution" means:

(A)  an institution of higher education, as defined by Section 61.003, Education Code;

(B)  a nonprofit, independent institution approved under Section 61.222, Education Code; or

(C)  a nonprofit, health-related school or program accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the American Osteopathic Association, the Texas Board of Nursing, or, in the case of allied health, an accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.

(3)  "Program" means the health careers promotion and education program.

(4)  "Qualified area" means an area qualifying under the National Health Services Corps Community Scholarship Program or an area with similar characteristics as identified by the department.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 553, Sec. 2.005, eff. Feb. 1, 2004.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 889, Sec. 57, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 37, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.152.  Administration.

(a) The department shall administer or contract for the administration of the program.

(b)  The department may solicit and accept gifts, grants, donations, and contributions to support the program.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 38, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.153.  Health Careers Promotion.

The department may establish a program to work with students, communities, and community-based organizations to encourage high school students to pursue health care professional careers.  The department shall give priority to working with communities and students in qualified areas.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 39, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.154.  Loans.

(a) The board may award forgivable educational loans to eligible students under this subchapter.

(b)  The board may award forgivable loans to eligible students based on the availability of money in the fund.

(c)  If in any year the fund is inadequate to provide loans to all eligible students, the board may award forgivable loans on a priority basis according to the students' academic performance, test scores, and other criteria of eligibility.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 23, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section  487.155.  Student Eligibility.

(a) To be eligible to receive a loan under this subchapter, a student must:

(1)  be sponsored by an eligible community;

(2)  at the time of the application for the loan, be enrolled in high school or enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a postsecondary educational institution in this state;

(3)  meet academic requirements as established by the board;

(4)  plan to complete a health care professional degree or certificate program;

(5)  plan to practice as a health care professional in a qualified area of the state; and

(6)  meet other requirements as established by the board.

(b)  Other requirements for eligibility for a loan under this subchapter must include:

(1)  one or more interviews with the student; and

(2)  a statement written by the student of the student's reasons for:

(A)  entering the health care profession; and

(B)  wanting to provide health care services to a qualified area in this state.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 24, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section  487.156.  Community Eligibility.

(a) To be eligible to sponsor a student under this subchapter, a community must:

(1)  be located in a qualified area in this state; and

(2)  provide evidence of community sponsorship of the student.

(b)  Community sponsorship consists of:

(1)  a commitment to pay for a percentage of the student's postsecondary educational expenses, including tuition, fees, educational materials, and living expenses; and

(2)  a commitment to employ the student on a full-time basis as a health care professional on the student's completion of the academic program and licensure or certification in the health care profession for which the student is sponsored.

(c)  The board shall determine the percentage of educational expenses communities are required to provide under this section.

(d)  Community financial support may be satisfied wholly or partly by a grant, a scholarship, or private foundation support.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 25, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section  487.157.  Amount Of Loan.

(a) On confirmation of an eligible student's admission to a postsecondary educational institution, or on receipt of an enrollment report of the student at a postsecondary educational institution, and certification of the amount of financial support needed, the board may award a forgivable loan to the student in the amount of not more than the cost of the student's tuition, fees, educational materials, and living expenses.

(b)  An eligible student may receive another grant, loan, or scholarship for which the student is eligible in addition to the receipt of a forgivable loan, except that the total amount of funds received may not exceed the reasonable needs of the student as determined by the postsecondary educational institution in which the student is enrolled.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 26, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section  487.158.  Required Contract.

(a) A student may receive assistance under this subchapter only if the student signs a contract agreeing to provide health care services to the sponsoring community on completion of the academic program and licensure or certification in the health care profession for which the student is sponsored.

(b)  The contract must provide that if the student does not provide the required services to the community or provides those services for less than the required time, the student is personally liable to the state for:

(1)  the total amount of assistance the student receives from the department and the sponsoring community;

(2)  interest on the total amount at a rate set by the board; and

(3)  the state's reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining payment, including reasonable attorney's fees.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 27, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 40, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  487.159.  Loan Forgiveness.

(a) A loan recipient shall be forgiven the principal and interest of one year's loan for each year the recipient practices as a health care professional providing health care services in the sponsoring community, but only if the loan recipient practices as a health care professional providing health care services in the sponsoring community or in another qualified area under Subsection (b) for a minimum of two years.

(b)  If the board finds that a sponsoring community is not in need of the student's services and that the community is willing to forgive repayment of the principal balance and interest of the student's loan, the board by rule may provide for the principal balance and interest of the student's loan to be forgiven if the student provides services in another qualified area in this state.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 28, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section  487.160.  Fund.

(a) The health careers education fund is established in the state treasury.

(b)  The department shall administer the fund.

(c)  The fund consists of gifts, grants, donations, the market value of in-kind contributions, and principal and interest payments on forgivable loans deposited to the credit of the fund by the department.

(d)  The department shall deposit any principal and interest payments on forgivable loans to the credit of the fund.

(e)  The department shall allocate the fund, as available, for forgivable loans and community repayment under this subchapter.

(f)  Unless otherwise provided by the General Appropriations Act, the department may use money appropriated to the department to support the fund.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 41, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  487.161.  Reporting; Monitoring.

(a) The department shall require reports from students, communities, and postsecondary educational institutions as needed to monitor the program.  After receiving any necessary releases as a condition of providing assistance, the department shall distribute reports relating to the progress of a student to the community sponsoring the student.

(b)  The sponsoring community shall report to the board the length of time the student provides health care services in the community in accordance with the guidelines established by the board.

(c)  A postsecondary educational institution shall provide to the board a copy of the academic transcript of each student for whom the institution has received a release that complies with state and federal open records laws and that authorizes the provision of the transcript.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 29, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 42, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.162.  Program Promotion.

The department shall provide postsecondary educational institutions and communities in qualified areas with information about health care careers and loan opportunities, including information on eligibility and availability of funds under this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 43, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.163.  Adoption Of Rules.

(a) The board shall adopt reasonable rules to enforce the requirements, conditions, and limitations of this subchapter.

(b)  The board shall set the rate of interest charged on a forgivable loan under this subchapter.

(c)  The board shall adopt rules necessary to ensure compliance with the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. Section 2000a et seq.) concerning nondiscrimination in admissions.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 30, eff. June 15, 2007.



Subchapter F. Medically Underserved Community-state Matching Incentive Program

Section  487.201.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Medically underserved community" means:

(A)  a community located in an area in this state with a medically underserved population;

(B)  a community located in an area in this state designated by the United States secretary of health and human services as an area with a shortage of personal health services;

(C)  a population group designated by the United States secretary of health and human services as having a shortage of personal health services;

(D)  a community designated under state or federal law as a medically underserved community; or

(E)  a community that the department considers to be medically underserved based on relevant demographic, geographic, and environmental factors.

(2)  "Physician" means a person licensed to practice medicine in this state.

(3)  "Primary care" means physician services in family practice, general practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, or gynecology.

(4)  "Start-up money" means a payment made by a medically underserved community for reasonable costs incurred by a physician to establish a medical office and ancillary facilities for diagnosing and treating patients.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 44, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.202.  Program.

(a) The board shall establish and administer a program under this subchapter to increase the number of physicians providing primary care in medically underserved communities.

(b)  A medically underserved community may sponsor a physician who has completed a primary care residency program and has agreed to provide primary care in the community by contributing start-up money for the physician and having that contribution matched wholly or partly by state money appropriated to the department for that purpose.

(c)  A participating medically underserved community may provide start-up money to an eligible physician over a two-year period.

(d)  The department may not pay more than $25,000 to a community in a fiscal year unless the board makes a specific finding of need by the community.

(e)  The board shall establish priorities so that the neediest communities eligible for assistance under this subchapter are assured the receipt of a grant.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 31, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 45, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.203.  Eligibility.

To be eligible to receive money from the department, a medically underserved community must:

(1)  apply for the money; and

(2)  provide evidence satisfactory to the board that it has entered into an agreement with a physician for the physician to provide primary care in the community for at least two years.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 31, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 46, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.204.  Rules.

The board shall adopt rules necessary for the administration of this subchapter, including rules addressing:

(1)  eligibility criteria for a medically underserved community;

(2)  eligibility criteria for a physician;

(3)  minimum and maximum community contributions to the start-up money for a physician to be matched with state money;

(4)  conditions under which state money must be repaid by a community or physician;

(5)  procedures for disbursement of money by the department;

(6)  the form and manner in which a community must make its contribution to the start-up money; and

(7)  the contents of an agreement to be entered into by the parties, which must include at least:

(A)  a credit check for an eligible physician; and

(B)  community retention of interest in any property, equipment, or durable goods for seven years.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 31, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 47, eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter G. Texas Health Service Corps Program For Medically Underserved Areas

Section  487.251.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Medically underserved area" means an area designated by the United States secretary of health and human services as having:

(A)  a shortage of personal health services or a population group that has such a shortage as provided by 42 U.S.C. Section 300e-1(7); or

(B)  a health professional shortage as provided by 42 U.S.C. Section 254e(a)(1).

(2)  "Physician" means a resident physician who is enrolled in an accredited residency training program in this state in the specialty of:

(A)  family practice;

(B)  general internal medicine;

(C)  general pediatric medicine; or

(D)  general obstetrics and gynecology.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section 487.252.  Texas Health Service Corps Program.

(a) The board shall establish a program in the department to assist communities in recruiting and retaining physicians to practice in medically underserved areas.

(b)  The board by rule shall establish:

(1)  eligibility criteria for applicants;

(2)  stipend application procedures;

(3)  guidelines relating to stipend amounts;

(4)  procedures for evaluating stipend applications; and

(5)  a system of priorities relating to the:

(A)  geographic areas covered;

(B)  medical specialties eligible to receive funding under the program; and

(C)  level of stipend support.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 32, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 48, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.253.  Administration.

(a) The board shall adopt rules necessary to administer this subchapter, and the department shall administer the program in accordance with those rules.

(b)  The department may not spend for the department's administrative costs in administering the program more than 10 percent of the amount appropriated to implement this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 33, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 49, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  487.254.  Required Contract.

(a) The department may award a stipend to a physician under this subchapter if the physician enters into a written contract to provide services in a medically underserved area for at least one year for each year that the physician receives the stipend.

(b)  The contract must provide that if the physician does not provide the required services in the medically underserved area or provides those services for less than the required term, the physician is personally liable to the state for:

(1)  the total amount of the stipend the physician receives;

(2)  interest on that total amount for the period beginning on the date the physician signs the contract and ending on the date the physician repays the amount of the stipend computed at a rate equal to the sum of:

(A)  the auction average rate quoted on a bank discount basis for 26-week treasury bills issued by the United States government, as published by the Federal Reserve Board, for the week preceding the week in which the contract is signed; and

(B)  five percent; and

(3)  the state's reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining payment, including reasonable attorney's fees.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 50, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  487.255.  Stipends.

(a) The department shall award stipends to physicians for one-year periods.  A stipend awarded under this subchapter may not exceed $15,000 each year.

(b)  The department may renew a stipend used to assist a particular physician.

(c)  A physician is not eligible for a stipend under this subchapter for a period longer than is ordinarily and customarily required for the completion of residency training for first board eligibility.

(d)  A physician who receives a stipend under this subchapter is not eligible to receive assistance under a state educational loan repayment program or other state incentive program.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 51, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.256.  Funding.

The department may seek, receive, and spend money received through an appropriation, grant, donation, or reimbursement from any public or private source to implement this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 52, eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter H. Rural Health Facility Capital Improvement

Section  487.301.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Public hospital" means a general or special hospital licensed under Chapter 241, Health and Safety Code, that is owned or operated by a municipality, county, municipality and county, hospital district, or hospital authority and that performs inpatient or outpatient services.

(2)  "Rural county" means:

(A)  a county that has a population of 150,000 or less; or

(B)  with respect to a county that has a population of more than 150,000 and that contains a geographic area that is not delineated as urbanized by the federal census bureau, that part of the county that is not delineated as urbanized.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section 487.302.  Powers Of Department.

In administering this subchapter, the department may:

(1)  enter into and enforce contracts and execute and deliver conveyances and other instruments necessary to make and administer grants, loans, and loan guarantees under this subchapter;

(2)  employ personnel and counsel necessary to implement this subchapter and pay them from money appropriated for that purpose;

(3)  impose and collect reasonable fees and charges in connection with grants, loans, and loan guarantees made under this subchapter and provide reasonable penalties for delinquent payment of fees, charges, or loan repayments;

(4)  take and enforce a mortgage or appropriate security interest in real or personal property that a loan recipient acquires with the proceeds of a loan made under this subchapter; and

(5)  adopt rules necessary to implement the grant, loan, and loan guarantee program.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 53, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  487.303.  Grant, Loan, And Loan Guarantee Program.

(a) The department may use money appropriated to the department under Section 403.1065 to make a grant or low-interest loan to, or guarantee a loan for, a public or nonprofit hospital located in a rural county.

(b)  A grant, loan, or loan guarantee recipient may use the money only to make capital improvements to existing health facilities located in a rural county, to construct new health facilities in a rural county, or to purchase capital equipment, including information systems hardware and software, for a health facility located in a rural county.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 54, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.304.  Eligibility For Grant, Loan, Or Loan Guarantee; Interest Rate.

(a) The department shall adopt rules that establish eligibility criteria for receiving a grant, loan, or loan guarantee under this subchapter.

(b)  The rules must state generally the factors the department will consider in determining whether an applicant should receive a grant, loan, or loan guarantee.  The rules must consider at least the financial need of the applicant, the health care needs of the rural area served by the applicant, and the probability that the applicant will effectively and efficiently use the money obtained through the grant, loan, or loan guarantee to meet the health care needs of the rural area served by the applicant.

(c)  The rules must state generally the factors the department will consider in determining the extent to which the interest rate on a loan should be below market rates.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 55, eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter I. Community Development Block Grant Nonentitlement Program

Section 487.351.  Administration Of Community Development Block Grant Program; Allocation Of Funds. (a) Th

e department shall, under the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 (Pub.L. No. 97-35) and 24 CFR, Part 570, Subpart I, administer the state's allocation of federal funds provided under the community development block grant nonentitlement program authorized by Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. Section 5301 et seq.).

(b)  Community development block grant program funds shall be allocated to eligible counties and municipalities under department rules.

(c)  The department shall give priority to eligible activities in the areas of economic development, community development, rural health, and rural housing to support workforce development in awarding funding for community development block grant programs.

(d)  An applicant for a grant, loan, or award under a community development block grant program may appeal a decision of the executive director by filing an appeal with the board.  The board shall hold a hearing on the appeal and render a decision.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.73(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Renumbered from Sec. 2306.098 and amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 34, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 101, Sec. 1, eff. May 23, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 56, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.352.  Transfer Of Federal Funds.

(a) The department may enter into an interagency agreement with the Department of Agriculture to reimburse the Department of Agriculture for providing on behalf of the department marketing, underwriting, and any other services on the portion of the federal community development block grant funds allocated by the department for economic development activities.

(b)  The department shall allocate not more than 20 percent of the federal funds received by the department to the Department of Agriculture to be used for economic development activities.

(c)  The department shall allocate not more than five percent of the funds allocated to the Department of Agriculture under Subsection (b) to be used for county economic and management development.

(d)  The department shall monitor the activities undertaken by the Department of Agriculture under this section.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.74(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 980, Sec. 22, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 2306.099 and amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 57, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.354.  Financial Assistance For Installation Of Street Lights In Colonias.

(a) In this section, "colonia" means an identifiable unincorporated community, or an identifiable community annexed by a municipality and eligible for assistance as described by Section 43.907(b), Local Government Code, that:

(1)  is located within 150 miles of the international border of this state in a county that is eligible to receive financial assistance from the community development block grant colonia fund under this subchapter, as identified by department rule;

(2)  is determined by the department to be a colonia on the basis of objective criteria, including lack of potable water supply, lack of adequate sewage systems, and lack of decent, safe, and sanitary housing; and

(3)  was in existence and generally recognized as a colonia before November 28, 1990.

(b)  The department shall adopt a rule requiring a political subdivision that receives community development block grant program money targeted toward street improvement projects to allocate not less than five percent but not more than 15 percent of the total amount of targeted money to providing financial assistance to colonias within the political subdivision to enable the installation of adequate street lighting in those colonias if street lighting is absent or needed.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1210, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 59, eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter J. Designating Rural Hospitals

Section 487.401.  Administration. (a)

The board shall adopt rules that establish a procedure for designating a hospital as a rural hospital in order for the hospital to qualify for federal funds under 42 C.F.R. Part 412.

(b)  At the hospital's request, the department shall designate the hospital as a rural hospital if the hospital meets the requirements for a rural hospital under the board's rules.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 37, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 60, eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter K. Community Healthcare Awareness And Mentoring Program For Students

Section  487.451.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Health care professional" means:

(A)  an advanced nurse practitioner;

(B)  a dentist;

(C)  a dental hygienist;

(D)  a laboratory technician;

(E)  a licensed vocational nurse;

(F)  a licensed professional counselor;

(G)  a medical radiological technologist;

(H)  an occupational therapist;

(I)  a pharmacist;

(J)  a physical therapist;

(K)  a physician;

(L)  a physician assistant;

(M)  a psychologist;

(N)  a registered nurse;

(O)  a social worker;

(P)  a speech-language pathologist;

(Q)  a veterinarian;

(R)  a chiropractor; and

(S)  another appropriate health care professional identified by the board.

(2)  "Program" means the community healthcare awareness and mentoring program for students established under this subchapter.

(3)  "Underserved urban area" means an urban area of this state with a medically underserved population, as determined in accordance with criteria adopted by the board by rule, considering relevant demographic, geographic, and environmental factors.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 831, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Redesignated from Health and Safety Code, Sec. 106.251 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 9.006(c), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 38, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section  487.452.  Community Healthcare Awareness And Mentoring Program For Students.

(a) The board, in collaboration with Area Health Education Center Programs, shall establish a community healthcare awareness and mentoring program for students to:

(1)  identify high school students in rural and underserved urban areas who are interested in serving those areas as health care professionals;

(2)  identify health care professionals in rural and underserved urban areas to act as positive role models, mentors, or reference resources for the interested high school students;

(3)  introduce interested high school students to the spectrum of professional health care careers through activities such as health care camps and shadowing of health care professionals;

(4)  encourage a continued interest in service as health care professionals in rural and underserved urban areas by providing mentors and community resources for students participating in training or educational programs to become health care professionals; and

(5)  provide continuing community-based support for students during the period the students are attending training or educational programs to become health care professionals, including summer job opportunities and opportunities to mentor high school students in the community.

(b)  In connection with the program, the department shall establish and maintain an updated medical resource library that contains information relating to medical careers.  The department shall make the library available to school counselors, students, and parents of students.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 831, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Redesignated from Health and Safety Code Sec. 106.252 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 9.006(c), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 39, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 61, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.453.  Administration.

(a) The department shall administer or contract for the administration of the program.

(b)  The department may solicit and accept gifts, grants, donations, and contributions to support the program.

(c)  The department may administer the program in cooperation with other public and private entities.

(d)  The department, in consultation with Area Health Education Center Programs, shall coordinate the program with similar programs, including programs relating to workforce development, scholarships for education, and employment of students, that are administered by other agencies, such as the Texas Workforce Commission and local workforce development boards.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 831, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Redesignated from Health and Safety Code Sec. 106.253 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 9.006(c), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 62, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.454.  Grants; Eligibility.

(a) Subject to available funds, the board shall develop and implement, as a component of the program, a grant program to support employment opportunities in rural and underserved urban areas in this state for students participating in training or educational programs to become health care professionals.

(b)  In awarding grants under the program, the board shall give first priority to grants to training or educational programs that provide internships to students.

(c)  To be eligible to receive a grant under the grant program, a person must:

(1)  apply for the grant on a form adopted by the board;

(2)  be enrolled or intend to be enrolled in a training or educational program to become a health care professional;

(3)  commit to practice or work, after licensure as a health care professional, for at least one year as a health care professional in a rural or underserved urban area in this state; and

(4)  comply fully with any practice or requirements associated with any scholarship, loan, or other similar benefit received by the student.

(d)  As a condition of receiving a grant under the program the student must agree to repay the amount of the grant, plus a penalty in an amount established by rule of the board not to exceed two times the amount of the grant, if the student becomes licensed as a health care professional and fails to practice or work for at least one year as a health care professional in a rural or underserved urban area in this state.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 831, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Redesignated from Health and Safety Code Sec. 106.254 by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276 Sec. 9.006(c), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 40, eff. June 15, 2007.



Subchapter L. Rural Physician Recruitment Program

Section  487.501.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Rural community" means a rural area as defined by the department.

(2)  "Medical school" has the meaning assigned by Section 61.501, Education Code.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1112, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Redesignated from Health and Safety Code Sec. 106.251 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 9.006(d), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 63, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.502.  Gifts And Grants.

The department may accept gifts, grants, and donations to support the rural physician recruitment program.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1112, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Redesignated from Health and Safety Code Sec. 106.252 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 9.006(d), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 64, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  487.503.  Rural Physician Recruitment Program.

(a) The department shall establish a process in consultation with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for selecting Texas medical schools to recruit students from rural communities and encourage them to return to rural communities to practice medicine.

(b)  The Texas medical schools selected shall:

(1)  encourage high school and college students from rural communities to pursue a career in medicine;

(2)  develop a screening process to identify rural students most likely to pursue a career in medicine;

(3)  establish a rural medicine curriculum;

(4)  establish a mentoring program for rural students;

(5)  provide rural students with information about financial aid resources available for postsecondary education; and

(6)  establish a rural practice incentive program.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1112, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Redesignated from Health and Safety Code Sec. 106.253 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 9.006(d), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 65, eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter M. Rural Communities Health Care Investment Program

Section  487.551.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Health professional" means a person other than a physician who holds a license, certificate, registration, permit, or other form of authorization required by law or a state agency rule that must be obtained by an individual to practice in a health care profession.

(2)  "Medically underserved community" means a community that:

(A)  is located in a county with a population of 50,000 or less;

(B)  has been designated under state or federal law as:

(i)  a health professional shortage area; or

(ii)  a medically underserved area; or

(C)  has been designated as a medically underserved community by the department.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 435, Sec. 2, eff. May 28, 2001. Redesignated from Health and Safety Code Sec. 106.301 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 9.006(e), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 66, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.552.  Advisory Panel.

The department shall appoint an advisory panel to assist in the department's duties under this subchapter.  The advisory panel must consist of at least:

(1)  one representative from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board;

(2)  one representative from the institutions of higher education having degree programs for the health professions participating in the programs under this subchapter;

(3)  one representative from a hospital in a medically underserved community;

(4)  one physician practicing in a medically underserved community;

(5)  one health professional, other than a physician, practicing in a medically underserved community; and

(6)  one public representative who resides in a medically underserved community.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 435, Sec. 2, eff. May 28, 2001. Redesignated from Health and Safety Code Sec. 106.302 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 9.006(e), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 67, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.553.  Loan Reimbursement Program.

The board shall establish a program in the department to assist communities in recruiting health professionals to practice in medically underserved communities by providing loan reimbursement for health professionals who serve in those communities.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 435, Sec. 2, eff. May 28, 2001. Redesignated from Health and Safety Code Sec. 106.303 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 9.006(e), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 41, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 68, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  487.554.  Stipend Program.

(a) The board shall establish a program in the department to assist communities in recruiting health professionals to practice in medically underserved communities by providing a stipend to health professionals who agree to serve in those communities.

(b)  A stipend awarded under this section shall be paid in periodic installments.

(c)  A health professional who participates in the program established under this section must establish an office and residency in the medically underserved area before receiving any portion of the stipend.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 435, Sec. 2, eff. May 28, 2001. Redesignated from Health and Safety Code Sec. 106.304 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 9.006(e), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 42, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 69, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  487.555.  Contract Required.

(a) A health professional may receive assistance under this subchapter only if the health professional signs a contract agreeing to provide health care services in a medically underserved community.

(b)  A student in a degree program preparing to become a health professional may contract with the department for the loan reimbursement program under Section 487.553 before obtaining the license required to become a health professional.

(c)  The department may contract with a health professional for part-time services under the stipend program established under Section 487.554.

(d)  A health professional who participates in any loan reimbursement program is not eligible for a stipend under Section 487.554.

(e)  A contract under this section must provide that a health professional who does not provide the required services to the community or provides those services for less than the required time is personally liable to the state for:

(1)  the total amount of assistance the health professional received from the department and the medically underserved community;

(2)  interest on the amount under Subdivision (1) at a rate set by the board;

(3)  the state's reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining payment, including reasonable attorney's fees; and

(4)  a penalty as established by the board by rule to help ensure compliance with the contract.

(f)  Amounts recovered under Subsection (e) shall be deposited in the permanent endowment fund for the rural communities health care investment program under Section 487.558.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 435, Sec. 2, eff. May 28, 2001. Redesignated from Health and Safety Code Sec. 106.305 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 9.006(e), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 43, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 70, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.556.  Powers And Duties Of Department.

(a) The board shall adopt rules necessary for the administration of this subchapter, including guidelines for:

(1)  developing contracts under which loan reimbursement or stipend recipients provide services to qualifying communities;

(2)  identifying the duties of the state, state agency, loan reimbursement or stipend recipient, and medically underserved community under the loan reimbursement or stipend contract;

(3)  determining a rate of interest to be charged under Section 487.555(e)(2);

(4)  ensuring that a loan reimbursement or stipend recipient provides access to health services to participants in government-funded health benefits programs in qualifying communities;

(5)  encouraging the use of telecommunications or telemedicine, as appropriate;

(6)  prioritizing the provision of loan reimbursements and stipends to health professionals who are not eligible for any other state loan forgiveness, loan repayment, or stipend program;

(7)  prioritizing the provision of loan reimbursements and stipends to health professionals who are graduates of health professional degree programs in this state;

(8)  encouraging a medically underserved community served by a loan reimbursement or stipend recipient to contribute to the cost of the loan reimbursement or stipend when making a contribution is feasible; and

(9)  requiring a medically underserved community served by a loan reimbursement or stipend recipient to assist the department in contracting with the loan reimbursement or stipend recipient who will serve that community.

(b)  The board by rule may designate areas of the state as medically underserved communities.

(c)  The board shall make reasonable efforts to contract with health professionals from a variety of different health professions.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 435, Sec. 2, eff. May 28, 2001. Redesignated from Health and Safety Code Sec. 106.306 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 9.006(e), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 44, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 71, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 72, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  487.557.  Use Of Telecommunication And Telemedicine.

A health professional who participates in a program under this subchapter may not use telecommunication technology, including telemedicine, as the sole or primary method of providing services and may not use telecommunication technology as a substitute for providing health care services in person. A health professional who participates in a program under this subchapter may use telecommunication technology only to supplement or enhance the health care services provided by the health professional.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 435, Sec. 2, eff. May 28, 2001. Redesignated from Health and Safety Code Sec. 106.307 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 9.006(e), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  487.558.  Permanent Endowment Fund.

(a) The permanent endowment fund for the rural communities health care investment program is a special fund in the treasury outside the general revenue fund.

(b)  The fund is composed of:

(1)  money transferred to the fund at the direction of the legislature;

(2)  gifts and grants contributed to the fund;

(3)  the returns received from investment of money in the fund; and

(4)  amounts recovered under Section 487.555(e).

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 435, Sec. 2, eff. May 28, 2001. Redesignated from Health and Safety Code Sec. 106.308 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 9.006(e), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  487.559.  Administration And Use Of Fund.

(a) The department may administer the permanent endowment fund for the rural communities health care investment program.  If the department elects not to administer the fund, the comptroller shall administer the fund.

(b)  The administrator of the fund shall invest the fund in a manner intended to preserve the purchasing power of the fund's assets and the fund's annual distributions. The administrator may acquire, exchange, sell, supervise, manage, or retain, through procedures and subject to restrictions the administrator considers appropriate, any kind of investment of the fund's assets that prudent investors, exercising reasonable care, skill, and caution, would acquire or retain in light of the purposes, terms, distribution requirements, and other circumstances of the fund then prevailing, taking into consideration the investment of all the assets of the fund rather than a single investment.

(c)  The comptroller or the department may solicit and accept gifts and grants to the fund.

(d)  Annual distributions for the fund shall be determined by the investment and distribution policy adopted by the administrator of the fund for the fund's assets.

(e)  Except as provided by Subsection (f), money in the fund may not be used for any purpose.

(f)  The amount available for distribution from the fund, including any gift or grant, may be appropriated only for providing stipends and loan reimbursement under the programs authorized by this subchapter and to pay the expenses of managing the fund. The expenditure of a gift or grant is subject to any limitation or requirement placed on the gift or grant by the donor or granting entity.

(g)  Sections 403.095 and 404.071, Government Code, do not apply to the fund. Section 404.094(d), Government Code, applies to the fund.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 435, Sec. 2, eff. May 28, 2001. Redesignated from Health and Safety Code Sec. 106.309 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 9.006(e), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 73, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.560.  Reporting Requirement.

The department shall provide a report on the permanent endowment fund for the rural communities health care investment program to the Legislative Budget Board not later than November 1 of each year.  The report must include the total amount of money the department received from the fund, the purpose for which the money was used, and any additional information that may be requested by the Legislative Budget Board.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 435, Sec. 2, eff. May 28, 2001. Redesignated from Health and Safety Code Sec. 106.310 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 9.006(e), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 74, eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter N. Rural Physician Relief Program

Section  487.601.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Physician" means a person licensed to practice medicine in this state under Subtitle B, Title 3, Occupations Code.

(2)  "Relief services" means the temporary coverage of a physician's practice by another physician for a predetermined time during the physician's absence and before the physician's return.

(3)  "Rural" means:

(A)  a community located in a county with a population not greater than 50,000;

(B)  an area designated under state or federal law as:

(i)  a health professional shortage area; or

(ii)  a medically underserved area; or

(C)  a medically underserved community designated by the department.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 75, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.602.  Rural Physician Relief Program.

The department shall create a program to provide affordable relief services to rural physicians practicing in the fields of general family medicine, general internal medicine, and general pediatrics to facilitate the ability of those physicians to take time away from their practice.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 76, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.603.  Fees.

(a) The department shall charge a fee for rural physicians to participate in the program.

(b)  The fees collected under this section shall be deposited in a special account in the general revenue fund that may be appropriated only to the department for administration of this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 77, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.604.  Funding.

The department may solicit and accept gifts, grants, donations, and contributions to support the program.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 78, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.605.  Relief Physician's Expenses.

The department shall pay a physician providing relief under the program using fees collected by the center.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 79, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.606.  Priority Assignment Of Relief Physicians.

(a) The department shall assign physicians to provide relief to a rural area in accordance with the following priorities:

(1)  solo practitioners;

(2)  counties that have fewer than seven residents per square mile;

(3)  counties that have been designated under federal law as a health professional shortage area;

(4)  counties that do not have a hospital; and

(5)  counties that have a hospital but do not have a continuously staffed hospital emergency room.

(b)  In determining where to assign relief physicians, the department shall consider the number of physicians in the area available to provide relief services and the distance in that area to the nearest physician who practices in the same specialty.

(c)  At the request of the department, residency program directors may assist the department in coordinating the assignment of relief physicians.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 80, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.607.  Relief Physician Recruitment.

The department shall actively recruit physicians to participate in the program as relief physicians.  The department shall concentrate on recruiting physicians involved in an accredited residency program in general pediatrics, general internal medicine, and general family medicine, physicians registered on the department's locum tenens registry, physicians employed at a medical school, and physicians working for private locum tenens groups.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 81, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  487.608.  Advisory Committee.

(a) The rural physician relief advisory committee is composed of the following members appointed by the board:

(1)  a physician who practices in the area of general family medicine in a rural county;

(2)  a physician who practices in the area of general internal medicine in a rural county;

(3)  a physician who practices in the area of general pediatrics in a rural county;

(4)  a representative from an accredited Texas medical school;

(5)  a program director from an accredited primary care residency program;

(6)  a representative from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; and

(7)  a representative from the Texas Medical Board.

(b)  The advisory committee shall assist the department in administering the program.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241, Sec. 45, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 82, eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter O. Community Telecommunications Alliance Program

Section 487.651.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)   "Community telecommunications alliance" means an association of public and private entities created to share resources, promote innovative school health technology, promote economic development opportunities for the community, and improve the overall quality of life within a local community through telecommunications and information services provided by the private sector.

(2)  "Program" means the community telecommunications alliance program.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1151, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 831, Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2008.



Section 487.652.  Rules Governing Program.

(a) The community telecommunications alliance program shall:

(1)  assist local communities in the creation and development of community telecommunications alliances, including alliances established to pursue rural economic development or innovative rural school health technology projects, by providing advice and assistance in assessing local uses of and local demands or needs for local telecommunications and information services of private sector providers;  and

(2)  assist community telecommunications alliances in applying for grant funding for projects, including:

(A)  assisting alliances in securing matching private sector funding for projects; and

(B)  requiring alliances to develop sustainable plans:

(i)  that demonstrate how the alliance will continue to obtain private sector services once the grant funding terminates;

(ii)  that do not directly compete with local businesses, telecommunications providers, or information services providers;  and

(iii)  that prohibit a network created with assistance from the alliance or other public funding from being sold to a direct competitor of a private sector provider.

(b)  Each community telecommunications alliance established under this section shall have an advisory council with representation from each of the following:

(1)  a local nonprofit organization;

(2)  a local county-elected official;

(3)  a local city-elected official;

(4)  a local telecommunications provider;

(5)  a local economic development group;

(6)  the local financial community; and

(7)  a local information services provider.

(c)  This chapter may not be construed to:

(1)  expand eligibility for private network services under Section 58.253(a) or 59.072(a), Utilities Code, to persons not eligible to purchase the services;  or

(2)  permit the direct or indirect sharing or resale of private network services with persons not eligible to purchase the services.

(d)  A community telecommunications alliance created under this section shall offer the following local entities the opportunity to be included in the alliance:

(1)  a library;

(2)  a public school;

(3)  a public not-for-profit health care facility; and

(4)  a local institution of higher education.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1151, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 831, Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2008.



Section 487.653.  Report To Legislature.

Not later than January 1 of each odd-numbered year, the department shall submit to the legislature a report detailing the grant activities of the program and grant recipients.  The report must include:

(1)  the criteria used to quantify the effect grant funds had in advancing telecommunications connectivity and technology;

(2)  data and performance measures used to quantify the achievement of program objectives; and

(3)  a description of and results from a grant monitoring risk assessment and on-site review process.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1151, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 831, Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2008.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 83, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  487.654.  Prohibition.

A community telecommunications alliance may not directly or indirectly:

(1)  provide telecommunications or information services to the public;

(2)  resell or share telecommunications or information services obtained through grants or loans received under Chapter 57, Utilities Code, with persons not eligible for the grants or loans; or

(3)  provide or support the provision of telecommunications or information services in competition with a private sector provider.

Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1151, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Subchapter P. Texas Rural Foundation

Section 487.701.  Creation Of Foundation.

(a) The department shall establish the Texas Rural Foundation as a nonprofit corporation that complies with the Texas Non-Profit Corporation Act (Article 1396-1.01 et seq., Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), except as otherwise provided by this chapter, and qualifies as an organization exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3), Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

(b)  The department shall ensure that the Texas Rural Foundation operates independently of any state agency or political subdivision of the state.

Transferred from Health and Safety Code, Chapter 110 and amended by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 542, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 84, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.702.  Powers And Duties.

(a) The Texas Rural Foundation shall raise money from foundations, governmental entities, and other sources to finance health, community, and economic development programs in the rural areas of the state.

(b)  The Texas Rural Foundation shall have the powers that are necessary and convenient to carry out its duties.

(c)  The Texas Rural Foundation shall develop and implement policies and procedures that clearly separate the responsibilities and activities of the foundation from the department.

Transferred from Health and Safety Code, Chapter 110 and amended by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 542, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 85, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.703.  Board Of Directors.

(a) The Texas Rural Foundation is governed by a board of an odd number of at least nine and not more than 15 directors appointed by the board of the department.

(b)  Members of the board of directors of the Texas Rural Foundation serve for staggered terms of six years, with as near as possible to one-third of the members' terms expiring February 1 of each odd-numbered year.

(c)  Appointments to the board of directors of the Texas Rural Foundation shall be made without regard to the race, color, disability, sex, religion, age, or national origin of the appointees.

(d)  The board of directors of the Texas Rural Foundation shall ensure that the foundation remains eligible for an exemption from federal income tax under Section 501(a), Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, by being listed as an exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of that code, as amended.

Transferred from Health and Safety Code, Chapter 110 and amended by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 542, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 86, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.704.  Restrictions On Board Appointment, Membership, And Employment.

(a) In this section, "Texas trade association" means a cooperative and voluntarily joined association of business or professional competitors in this state designed to assist its members and its industry or profession in dealing with mutual business or professional problems and in promoting their common interest.

(b)  A person may not be a member of the board of directors of the Texas Rural Foundation and may not be a foundation employee employed in a "bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity," as that phrase is used for purposes of establishing an exemption to the overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. Section 201 et seq.), as amended, if:

(1)  the person is an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a Texas trade association that is in the field of health care or that contracts with the foundation; or

(2)  the person's spouse is an officer, manager, or paid consultant of a Texas trade association that is in the field of health care or that contracts with the foundation.

(c)  A person may not be a member of the board of directors of the Texas Rural Foundation or act as the general counsel to the board of directors or the foundation if the person is required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305, Government Code, because of the person's activities for compensation on behalf of a profession related to the operation of the foundation.

Transferred from Health and Safety Code, Chapter 110 and amended by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 542, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 487.705.  Removal Of Board Member.

(a) It is a ground for removal from the board of directors of the Texas Rural Foundation that a member:

(1)  is ineligible for membership under Section 110.004;

(2)  cannot, because of illness or disability, discharge the member's duties for a substantial part of the member's term; or

(3)  is absent from more than half of the regularly scheduled board meetings that the member is eligible to attend during a calendar year without an excuse approved by a majority vote of the board of directors.

(b)  The validity of an action of the board of directors of the Texas Rural Foundation is not affected by the fact that it is taken when a ground for removal of a board member exists.

(c)  If the executive director of the department has knowledge that a potential ground for removal exists, the executive director shall notify the presiding officer of the board of directors of the Texas Rural Foundation of the potential ground.  The presiding officer shall then notify the governor and the attorney general that a potential ground for removal exists.  If the potential ground for removal involves the presiding officer, the executive director shall notify the next highest ranking officer of the board of directors, who shall then notify the governor and the attorney general that a potential ground for removal exists.

Transferred from Health and Safety Code, Chapter 110 and amended by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 542, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 87, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.706.  Vacancy.

A vacancy on the board of directors of the Texas Rural Foundation shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment.

Transferred from Health and Safety Code, Chapter 110 and amended by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 542, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 487.707.  Officers.

The board of directors of the Texas Rural Foundation shall elect from among its members a presiding officer, an assistant presiding officer, and other officers the board considers necessary.  The presiding officer and assistant presiding officer serve for a period of one year and may be reelected.

Transferred from Health and Safety Code, Chapter 110 and amended by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 542, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 487.708.  Meetings.

The board of directors of the Texas Rural Foundation may meet as often as necessary, but shall meet at least twice a year.

Transferred from Health and Safety Code, Chapter 110 and amended by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 542, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 487.709.  Tax Exemption.

All income, property, and other assets of the Texas Rural Foundation are exempt from taxation by the state and political subdivisions of the state.

Transferred from Health and Safety Code, Chapter 110 and amended by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 542, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 487.710.  Memorandum Of Understanding.

The Texas Rural Foundation and the department shall enter into a memorandum of understanding that:

(1)  requires the board of directors and staff of the foundation to report to the executive director and board of the department;

(2)  allows the department to provide staff functions to the foundation;

(3)  allows the department to expend funds on the foundation; and

(4)  outlines the financial contributions to be made to the foundation from funds obtained from grants and other sources.

Transferred from Health and Safety Code, Chapter 110 and amended by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 542, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 88, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.711.  Records.

(a) The Texas Rural Foundation shall maintain financial records and reports independently from those of the department.

(b)  The Texas Rural Foundation shall comply with all filing requirements of the secretary of state and the Internal Revenue Service.

Transferred from Health and Safety Code, Chapter 110 and amended by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 542, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 89, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.712.  Report To Department.

Not later than the 60th day after the last day of the fiscal year, the Texas Rural Foundation shall submit to the department a report itemizing all income and expenditures and describing all activities of the foundation during the preceding fiscal year.

Transferred from Health and Safety Code, Chapter 110 and amended by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 542, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 90, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.713.  Prohibited Use Of Funds.

Funds administered by the Texas Rural Foundation may not be used to provide an abortion or a referral for an abortion, unless there is a medically necessary reason to provide the referral.

Transferred from Health and Safety Code, Chapter 110 and amended by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 542, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.



Subchapter Q. Rural Technology Center Grant Program

Section 487.751.  Definition.

In this subchapter, "rural county" means a county that has a population of not more than 125,000.

Renumbered from Government Code, Section 487.701 by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87, Sec. 27.001(31), eff. September 1, 2009.

Relettered from Government Code, Subchapter P, Chapter 487 and amended by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 91, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.752.  Grant Program.

(a) Subject to available funds, the department shall establish a grant program under which the department awards grants to public institutions of higher education, public high schools, and governmental entities located in a rural county for the development and operation of multi-institutional technology centers that provide:

(1)  community access to technology;

(2)  computer literacy programs;

(3)  educational programs designed to provide concurrent enrollment credit for high school students taking postsecondary courses in information and emerging technologies;

(4)  training for careers in technology-related fields and other highly skilled industries; and

(5)  technology-related continuing and adult education programs.

(b)  The executive committee by rule shall establish:

(1)  eligibility criteria for grant applicants;

(2)  grant application procedures;

(3)  guidelines relating to grant amounts;

(4)  procedures for evaluating grant applications; and

(5)  procedures for monitoring the use of grants awarded under the program and for ensuring compliance with the conditions of a grant.

Renumbered from Government Code, Section 487.702 by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87, Sec. 27.001(31), eff. September 1, 2009.

Relettered from Government Code, Subchapter P, Chapter 487 and amended by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 91, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 487.753.  Funding.

The department may seek, receive, and spend money received through an appropriation, grant, donation, or reimbursement from any public or private source to implement this subchapter.

Renumbered from Government Code, Section 487.703 by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87, Sec. 27.001(31), eff. September 1, 2009.

Relettered from Government Code, Subchapter P, Chapter 487 and amended by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112, Sec. 91, eff. September 1, 2009.


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