Law:Title 7. Rehabilitation Of Individuals With Disabilities from Chapter 115. Governor's Committee On People With Disabilities (Texas)

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Chapter 115. Governor's Committee On People With Disabilities

Section  115.001.  Committee; Mission.

(a) The Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities is within the office of the governor.

(b)  The committee's mission is to further opportunities for persons with disabilities to enjoy full and equal access to lives of independence, productivity, and self-determination.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 577, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 37, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  115.002.  Composition.

(a) The committee is composed of 12 members appointed by the governor and of nonvoting ex officio members.

(b)  The appointed members are appointed for staggered terms of two years, with half the members' terms expiring February 1 of each odd-numbered year and half the members' terms expiring February 1 of each even-numbered year. At least seven of the appointed members must be persons with disabilities.

(c)  The ex officio members are:

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

(2)  the commissioner of the Texas Rehabilitation Commission;

(3)  the executive director of the Texas Commission for the Blind;

(4)  the executive director of the Texas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing; and

(5)  other officials designated by the governor who serve with other state agencies that provide services to persons with disabilities.

(d)  Except as provided by Subsection (b), appointments to the committee shall be made without regard to the race, color, disability, sex, religion, age, or national origin of the appointees.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 577, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 835, Sec. 22, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 37, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 817, Sec. 10.10, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  115.0021.  Conflict Of Interest.

A person may not be a member of the committee or act as the general counsel to the committee 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 committee.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 37, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  115.0022.  Training For Committee Members.

(a) A person who is appointed to and qualifies for office as a member of the committee may not vote, deliberate, or be counted as a member in attendance at a meeting of the committee 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 committee;

(2)  the programs operated by the committee;

(3)  the role and functions of the committee;

(4)  any relevant rules of the committee;

(5)  the current budget for the committee;

(6)  the results of the most recent formal audit of the committee;

(7)  the requirements of:

(A)  the open meetings law, Chapter 551, Government Code;

(B)  the public information law, Chapter 552, Government Code;

(C)  the administrative procedure law, Chapter 2001, Government Code; and

(D)  other laws relating to public officials, including conflict of interest laws; and

(8)  any applicable ethics policies adopted by the committee or the Texas Ethics Commission.

(c)  A person appointed to the committee 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 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 37, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  115.0023.  Grounds For Removal.

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

(1)  is ineligible for membership under Section 115.0021;

(2)  cannot 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 committee meetings that the member is eligible to attend during a calendar year without an excuse approved by a majority vote of the committee.

(b)  The validity of an action of the committee is not affected by the fact that it is taken when a ground for removal of a committee 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 committee 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 committee, who shall then notify the governor and the attorney general that a potential ground for removal exists.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 37, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  115.003.  Reimbursement.

Appointed members may not receive compensation for service on the committee but are entitled to actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of committee business, including attendance at committee meetings, telephone calls to conduct committee business, and attendance at functions to represent the committee officially. The payment of expenses is limited to available funds.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 577, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.



Section  115.004.  Officers; Meetings; Quorum.

(a) The governor shall designate one member of the committee as the presiding officer of the committee to serve in that capacity at the pleasure of the governor. The committee may elect other officers from its members as the committee considers necessary.

(b)  The committee shall meet quarterly as provided by committee rule and may meet at other times at the call of the presiding officer.

(c)  The committee is considered to be a governmental body subject to Chapter 551, Government Code.

(d)  A majority of the appointed members of the committee constitutes a quorum.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 577, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(82), eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 37, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  115.0041.  Division Of Responsibility.

The committee shall develop and implement policies that clearly separate the policymaking responsibilities of the committee and the management responsibilities of the executive director and staff of the committee.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 37, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  115.0042.  Public Hearings.

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

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 37, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section 115.005.  Sunset Provision.

The Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities is subject to Chapter 325, Government Code (Texas Sunset Act).  Unless continued in existence as provided by that chapter, the committee is abolished and this chapter expires September 1, 2013.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 577, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 17, Sec. 4.08, eff. Nov. 12, 1991; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 37, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1227, Sec. 2.04, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 928, Sec. 3.06, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 2, Sec. 2.12, eff. July 10, 2009.



Section  115.006.  Staff; Funding.

(a) The governor's office shall employ, subject to the approval of the committee, an executive director for the committee at a salary as determined by legislative appropriation.

(b)  The governor's office shall provide other administrative support to the committee. The executive director of the committee shall coordinate the provision of the administrative support and shall supervise the staff.

(c)  The committee shall be funded through the governor's office.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 577, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.



Section  115.0061.  Standards Of Conduct.

The executive director or the executive director's designee shall provide to members of the committee and to committee 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 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 37, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  115.007.  Rules And Subcommittees.

(a) The committee shall adopt rules and designate subcommittees and task forces as it considers advisable for the conduct of the committee's functions.

(b)  The committee may appoint persons other than committee members to serve on its subcommittees and task forces as appropriate to obtain needed expertise and broaden representation from its constituencies. Those persons may not receive compensation for their services but may be reimbursed for travel and lodging expenses.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 577, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.



Section  115.008.  Gifts, Grants, And Donations.

The committee may solicit and accept gifts, grants, and donations to support the committee or carry out the committee's functions.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 577, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.



Section  115.009.  Functions.

The committee shall:

(1)  serve as a central source of information and education on the abilities, rights, problems, and needs of persons with disabilities and, as necessary, issue reports;

(2)  provide information to and advise the governor and the governor's staff on matters relating to the full participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of life;

(3)  before the end of each even-numbered year, submit to the governor and to the legislature a report that includes:

(A)  the status of the state's compliance with federal and state laws pertaining to rights and opportunities for persons with disabilities and recommendations to achieve further compliance, if necessary;

(B)  a long-range state plan for persons with disabilities and recommendations to implement that plan; and

(C)  any recommended changes in state laws relating to persons with disabilities;

(4)  serve as the state's liaison agency in working with the President's Committee on Employment of Persons with Disabilities and other entities involved in activities or concerns affecting persons with disabilities;

(5)  develop and work with a statewide network of volunteer community-level committees to promote dissemination of information about and implementation of federal and state laws addressing rights and opportunities for persons with disabilities;

(6)  evaluate the state's compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Pub. L. No. 101-336) and other federal and state statutes relating to rights and opportunities for persons with disabilities;

(7)  provide information and technical assistance to public and private agencies and businesses to promote and facilitate implementation of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Pub. L. No. 101-336) and other federal and state statutes relating to rights and opportunities of persons with disabilities;

(8)  collect and evaluate data on employment of persons with disabilities by state agencies;

(9)  work with legislative committees and with state agencies on the development of laws and policies that affect persons with disabilities;

(10)  promote the compilation and publication of state laws relating to persons with disabilities; and

(11)  issue awards and other forms of recognition to persons and organizations making outstanding contributions to the employment of persons with disabilities and to public awareness of issues impacting persons with disabilities.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 577, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 37, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  115.010.  Governmental Cooperation.

The agencies of state and local government shall cooperate with and assist the committee in the performance of its functions.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 577, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.



Section  115.011.  Complaints.

(a) The committee shall maintain a file on each written complaint filed with the committee. The file must include:

(1)  the name of the person who filed the complaint;

(2)  the date the complaint is received by the committee;

(3)  the subject matter of the complaint;

(4)  the name of each person contacted in relation to the complaint;

(5)  a summary of the results of the review of the complaint; and

(6)  an explanation of the reason the file was closed, if the committee closed the file without taking action other than to review the complaint.

(b)  The committee, until final disposition of the complaint, shall notify the person filing the complaint and each person who is a subject of the complaint of the status of the review of the complaint.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 37, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.


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