Law:Title 8. Rights And Responsibilities Of Persons With Disabilities (Texas)

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Contents

Chapter 121. Participation In Social And Economic Activities

Section  121.001.  State Policy.

The policy of the state is to encourage and enable persons with disabilities to participate fully in the social and economic life of the state, to achieve maximum personal independence, to become gainfully employed, and to otherwise fully enjoy and use all public facilities available within the state.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2425, ch. 842, art. 1, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 649, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  121.0014.  Vision Statement.

(a) The Health and Human Services Commission, each health and human services agency, and each state agency that administers a workforce development program shall adopt the following statement of vision:

The State of Texas shall ensure that all Texans with disabilities have the opportunity and support necessary to work in individualized, competitive employment in the community and to have choices about their work and careers.

(b)  In this section, "health and human services agency" means an agency listed by Section 19, Article 4413(502), Revised Statutes.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 655, Sec. 6.02(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  121.0015.  Interagency Work Group.

(a) An interagency work group is created to implement the action plan adopted at the 1994 Supported Employment Summit.

(b)  The work group is composed of a representative of the:

(1)  Texas Education Agency, appointed by the commissioner of education;

(2)  Texas Commission for the Blind, appointed by the commissioner of that agency;

(3)  Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, appointed by the commissioner of mental health and mental retardation;

(4)  Texas Rehabilitation Commission, appointed by the commissioner of that agency; and

(5)  Texas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, appointed by the executive director of that agency.

(c)  A member of the work group serves at the will of the appointing agency.

(d)  The work group shall elect a presiding officer and any other necessary officers.

(e)  The work group shall meet at the call of the presiding officer.

(f)  The appointing agency is responsible for the expenses of a member's service on the work group. A member of the work group receives no additional compensation for serving on the work group.

(g)  The comptroller shall monitor the work group and the implementation of the action plan.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 655, Sec. 6.02(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 6.66, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  121.002.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Assistance animal" means an animal that is specially trained or equipped to help a person with a disability and that:

(A)  is used by a person with a disability who has satisfactorily completed a specific course of training in the use of the animal; and

(B)  has been trained by an organization generally recognized by agencies involved in the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities as reputable and competent to provide animals with training of this type.

(2)  "Harass" means any conduct that:

(A)  is directed at an assistance animal that impedes or interferes with, or is intended to impede or interfere with, the animal's performance of its duties; or

(B)  places a person with a disability who is using an assistance animal, or a trainer who is training an assistance animal, in danger of injury.

(3)  "Housing accommodations" means all or part of real property that is used or occupied or is intended, arranged, or designed to be used or occupied as the home, residence, or sleeping place of one or more human beings, except a single-family residence whose occupants rent, lease, or furnish for compensation only one room.

(4)  "Person with a disability" means a person who has a mental or physical disability, including mental retardation, hearing impairment, deafness, speech impairment, visual impairment, or any health impairment that requires special ambulatory devices or services.

(5)  "Public facilities" includes a street, highway, sidewalk, walkway, common carrier, airplane, motor vehicle, railroad train, motor bus, streetcar, boat, or any other public conveyance or mode of transportation; a hotel, motel, or other place of lodging; a public building maintained by any unit or subdivision of government; a building to which the general public is invited; a college dormitory or other educational facility; a restaurant or other place where food is offered for sale to the public; and any other place of public accommodation, amusement, convenience, or resort to which the general public or any classification of persons from the general public is regularly, normally, or customarily invited.

(6)  "White cane" means a cane or walking stick that is metallic or white in color, or white tipped with a contrasting color, and that is carried by a blind person to assist the blind person in traveling from place to place.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2425, ch. 842, art. 1, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 3310, ch. 865, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 31, 1981; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 278, Sec. 1, eff. June 5, 1985; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 890, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 649, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  121.003.  Discrimination Prohibited.

(a) Persons with disabilities have the same right as the able-bodied to the full use and enjoyment of any public facility in the state.

(b)  No common carrier, airplane, railroad train, motor bus, streetcar, boat, or other public conveyance or mode of transportation operating within the state may refuse to accept as a passenger a person with a disability solely because of the person's disability, nor may a person with a disability be required to pay an additional fare because of his or her use of an assistance animal, wheelchair, crutches, or other device used to assist a person with a disability in travel.

(c)  No person with a disability may be denied admittance to any public facility in the state because of the person's disability. No person with a disability may be denied the use of a white cane, assistance animal, wheelchair, crutches, or other device of assistance.

(d)  The discrimination prohibited by this section includes a refusal to allow a person with a disability to use or be admitted to any public facility, a ruse or subterfuge calculated to prevent or discourage a person with a disability from using or being admitted to a public facility, and a failure to:

(1)  comply with Article 9102, Revised Statutes;

(2)  make reasonable accommodations in policies, practices, and procedures; or

(3)  provide auxiliary aids and services necessary to allow the full use and enjoyment of the public facility.

(e)  Regulations relating to the use of public facilities by any designated class of persons from the general public may not prohibit the use of particular public facilities by persons with disabilities who, except for their disabilities or use of assistance animals or other devices for assistance in travel, would fall within the designated class.

(f)  It is the policy of the state that persons with disabilities be employed by the state, by political subdivisions of the state, in the public schools, and in all other employment supported in whole or in part by public funds on the same terms and conditions as persons without disabilities, unless it is shown that there is no reasonable accommodation that would enable a person with a disability to perform the essential elements of a job.

(g)  Persons with disabilities shall be entitled to full and equal access, as other members of the general public, to all housing accommodations offered for rent, lease, or compensation in this state, subject to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons.

(h)  A person with a total or partial disability who has or obtains an assistance animal is entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations provided for in this section, and may not be required to pay extra compensation for the animal but is liable for damages done to the premises by the animal.

(i)  An assistance animal in training shall not be denied admittance to any public facility when accompanied by an approved trainer who is an agent of an organization generally recognized by agencies involved in the rehabilitation of persons who are disabled as reputable and competent to provide training for assistance animals, and/or their handlers.

(j)  A person may not assault, harass, interfere with, kill, or injure in any way, or attempt to assault, harass, interfere with, kill, or injure in any way, an assistance animal.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2426, ch. 842, art. 1, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 3310, ch. 865, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 31, 1981; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., 1st C.S., p. 57, ch. 7, Sec. 10.03(c), eff. Sept. 23, 1983; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 278, Sec. 2, eff. June 5, 1985; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 249, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 890, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 649, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 261, Sec. 1, eff. May 22, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 710, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  121.004.  Penalties For And Damages Resulting From Discrimination.

(a) A person, firm, association, corporation, or other organization, or the agent of a person, firm, association, corporation, or other organization who violates a provision of Section 121.003 commits an offense. An offense under this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $300 or more than $1,000.

(b)  In addition to the penalty provided in Subsection (a) of this section, a person, firm, association, corporation, or other organization, or the agent of a person, firm, association, corporation, or other organization, who violates the provisions of Section 121.003 of this chapter is deemed to have deprived a person with a disability of his or her civil liberties. The person with a disability deprived of his or her civil liberties may maintain a cause of action for damages in a court of competent jurisdiction, and there is a conclusive presumption of damages in the amount of at least $100 to the person with a disability.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2427, ch. 842, art. 1, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 890, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 649, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  121.005.  Responsibilities Of Persons With Disabilities.

(a) A person with a disability who uses an assistance animal for assistance in travel is liable for any damages done to the premises or facilities by the animal.

(b)  A person with a disability who uses an assistance animal for assistance in travel or auditory awareness shall keep the animal properly harnessed or leashed, and a person who is injured by the animal because of the failure of a person with a disability to properly harness or leash the animal is entitled to maintain a cause of action for damages in a court of competent jurisdiction under the same law applicable to other causes brought for the redress of injuries caused by animals.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2427, ch. 842, art. 1, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 3310, ch. 865, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 31, 1981; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 278, Sec. 3, eff. June 5, 1985; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 649, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  121.006.  Penalties For Improper Use Of Assistance Animals.

(a) A person who uses an assistance animal with a harness or leash of the type commonly used by persons with disabilities who use trained animals, in order to represent that his or her animal is a specially trained assistance animal when training of the type described in Section 121.002(1)(B) of this chapter has not in fact been provided, is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction shall be punished by a fine of not more than $200.

(b)  A person who habitually abuses or neglects to feed or otherwise neglects to properly care for his or her assistance animal is subject to seizure of the animal under Subchapter B, Chapter 821, Health and Safety Code.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2427, ch. 842, art. 1, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 3311, ch. 865, Sec. 4, eff. Aug. 31, 1981; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 278, Sec. 4, eff. June 5, 1985; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 649, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  121.008.  Dissemination Of Information Relating To Persons With Disabilities.

(a) To ensure maximum public awareness of the policies set forth in this chapter, the governor may issue a proclamation each year taking suitable public notice of October 15 as White Cane Safety Day. The proclamation must contain appropriate comment about the significance of various devices used by persons with disabilities to assist them in traveling, and must call to the attention of the public the provisions of this chapter and of other laws relating to the safety and well-being of this state's citizens with disabilities.

(b)  State agencies regularly mailing forms or information to significant numbers of public facilities operating within the state shall cooperate with state agencies responsible for the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities by sending information about this chapter to those to whom regular mailings are sent. The information, which must be sent only on the request of state agencies responsible for the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities and not more than once each year, may be included in regular mailings or sent separately. If sent separately, the cost of mailing is borne by the state rehabilitation agency or agencies requesting the mailing and, regardless of whether sent separately or as part of a regular mailing, the cost of preparing information about this chapter is borne by the state rehabilitation agency or agencies requesting distribution of this information.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2428, ch. 842, art. 1, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 649, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  121.009.  Construction Of Chapter.

The provisions of this chapter must be construed in a manner compatible with other state laws relating to persons with disabilities.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2428, ch. 842, art. 1, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 649, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  121.010.  Testing Adults With Disabilities.

(a) A test that evaluates an adult with a disability for a job position in business, government, or industry, or a test to determine that person's educational level, must measure individual abilities and not specific disabilities.

(b)  If an examiner knows that an adult examinee has a disability, the examiner may use an alternate form of testing. The alternate form of testing may assess the aptitude of the examinee by using that person's primary learning mode.

(c)  The examiner may use as an alternate form of testing any procedure or adaption that will help ensure the best performance possible by an adult with a disability, including oral or visual administration of the test, oral or manual response to the test, the use of readers, tape recorders, interpreters, large print, or braille text, the removal of time constraints, and multiple testing sessions.

(d)  An examiner shall select and administer a test to an examinee who has a disability that impairs sensory, manual, or speaking skills so that the test accurately reflects the factor the test is intended to measure and does not reflect the examinee's impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills.

(e)  An examiner may not use a test that has a disproportionate, adverse effect on an adult with a disability or a class of adults with disabilities unless:

(1)  the test has been validated as a predictor of success in the program or activity for which the adult with a disability is applying; and

(2)  alternate tests or alternative forms of testing that have a less disproportionate, adverse effect do not exist or are not available.

Added by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 2482, ch. 645, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 31, 1981. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 649, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  121.011.  Accessibility Of Examination Or Course Offered By Private Entity.

(a) A private entity that offers an examination or a course related to applications, certification, credentialing, or licensing for secondary or postsecondary education, a profession, or a trade shall:

(1)  offer the examination or course in a place and manner that is accessible to persons with disabilities or make alternative accessible arrangements for persons with disabilities;

(2)  offer the examination or course to persons with disabilities:

(A)  as often as the entity offers the examination or course to persons without disabilities;

(B)  at a location that is as convenient as the location at which the entity offers the examination or course to persons without disabilities; and

(C)  at a time that is as appropriate as the time when the entity offers the examination or course to persons without disabilities; and

(3)  make auxiliary test guides and other resources available in alternative formats.

(b)  A private entity that offers an examination or a course described by Subsection (a) may require persons with disabilities to provide reasonable documentation of their disabilities and reasonable advance notice of any necessary modifications or aids. The deadline for advance notice may not be earlier than the application deadline for the examination or course. The entity may not refuse a request for modifications or aids from a person with a disability on the grounds that the person, because of the person's disability, would not meet other requirements of the profession or occupation for which the course or examination is given.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 649, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Chapter 122. Texas Council On Purchasing From People With Disabilities

Section  122.001.  Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to further the state's policy of encouraging and assisting persons with disabilities to achieve maximum personal independence by engaging in useful and productive employment activities and, in addition, to provide state agencies, departments, and institutions and political subdivisions of the state with a method for achieving conformity with requirements of nondiscrimination and affirmative action in employment matters related to persons with disabilities.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



For expiration of this section, see Section 2151.0041, Gov. Code.

Section 122.0011.  Transfer Of Duties; Reference.

(a) The powers and duties of the commission under this chapter are transferred to the comptroller.

(b)  In this chapter, a reference to the commission means the comptroller.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 937, Sec. 1.97, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  122.002.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Central nonprofit agency" means an agency designated as a central nonprofit agency under contract under Section 122.019.

(2)  "Commission" means the Texas Building and Procurement Commission.

(3)  "Community rehabilitation program" means a government or nonprofit private program operated under criteria established by the council and under which persons with severe disabilities produce products or perform services for compensation.

(4)  "Council" means the Texas Council on Purchasing from People with Disabilities.

(5)  "Disability" means a mental or physical impairment, including blindness, that impedes a person who is seeking, entering, or maintaining gainful employment.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 132, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  122.003.  Texas Council On Purchasing From People With Disabilities.

(a) The Texas Council on Purchasing from People with Disabilities is composed of nine members selected from the following categories who are appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate:

(1)  private citizens conversant with the employment needs of persons with disabilities, including blindness, and with current experience in the pricing and marketing of goods and services;

(2)  representatives of community rehabilitation programs that represent different disability groups, including persons with blindness, and that provide or seek to provide products produced or services performed by persons with disabilities;

(3)  representatives of state agencies or political subdivisions that purchase a significant amount of products produced or services performed by persons with disabilities; and

(4)  persons with disabilities.

(b)  The governor shall select three members from the category prescribed by Subsection (a)(1) and at least one member from the other three categories prescribed by Subsection (a). To the extent possible, the governor shall attempt to ensure that the categories prescribed by Subsections (a)(2)-(4) are equally represented on the council. Members of the council serve staggered terms of six years with the terms of three members expiring on January 31 of each odd-numbered year. Members may not receive compensation for their service on the council, but they are entitled to reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred in performing their duties as members.

(c)  The governor shall select one of the council members to serve as presiding officer.

(d)  A person is not eligible for appointment as a member of the council under Subsection (a)(1) if the person or the person's spouse:

(1)  is employed by or participates in the management of a central nonprofit agency, a community rehabilitation program, or another organization receiving funds from or doing business with the council;

(2)  owns or controls, directly or indirectly, more than a 10 percent interest in a central nonprofit agency, a community rehabilitation program, or another organization receiving funds from or doing business with the council; or

(3)  uses or receives a substantial amount of tangible goods, services, or funds from the council, a central nonprofit agency, or a community rehabilitation program, other than reimbursement authorized by law for council membership, attendance, or expenses.

(e)  A person may not serve as a member of the council 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 council.

(f)  Appointments to the council shall be made without regard to the race, creed, sex, disability, age, religion, or national origin of the appointees.

(g)  It is a ground for removal from the council if a member:

(1)  does not have at the time of appointment the qualifications required by Subsection (a) of this section for appointment to the council;

(2)  does not maintain during the service on the council the qualifications required by Subsection (a) of this section for appointment to the council;

(3)  violates a prohibition established by Subsection (d) or (e) of this section;

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

(5)  is absent from more than half of the regularly scheduled council meetings that the member is eligible to attend during a calendar year unless the absence is excused by majority vote of the council.

(h)  The validity of an action of the council is not affected by the fact that it was taken when a ground for removal of a member of the council existed.

(i)  If the executive director of the commission has knowledge that a potential ground for removal exists, the executive director shall notify the presiding officer of the council of the potential ground. If the presiding officer is notified under this section, or if the presiding officer has knowledge that a potential ground for removal exists, the presiding officer shall 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 officer of the council, who shall notify the governor and the attorney general that a potential ground for removal exists.

(j)  The council shall adopt rules establishing a formal certification procedure for recognition and approval of community rehabilitation programs. The procedure must include a committee composed of three council members appointed by the presiding officer to review certification applications of community rehabilitation programs and issue recommendations to the council. The council may:

(1)  recognize a program that maintains accreditation by a nationally accepted vocational rehabilitation accrediting organization; and

(2)  approve community rehabilitation program services that have been approved for purchase by a state habilitation or rehabilitation agency.

(k)  The council may delegate the administration of the procedure established under Subsection (j) to a central nonprofit agency but may not delegate the authority to certify a community rehabilitation program under this section.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1304, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 132, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  122.004.  Information Relating To Standards Of Conduct.

The presiding officer of the council or the presiding officer's designee shall provide to members of the council and to council employees, as often as necessary, information regarding 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.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 132, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  122.005.  Member Training.

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

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

(1)  this chapter;

(2)  the programs operated by the council;

(3)  the role and functions of the council;

(4)  the rules of the council with an emphasis on the rules that relate to oversight and investigatory authority;

(5)  the current budget for the council;

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

(7)  the requirements of:

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

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

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

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

(9)  any applicable ethics policies adopted by the council or the Texas Ethics Commission.

(c)  A person appointed to the council 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.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 132, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  122.0055.  Council Staff.

(a) The council may employ staff as necessary to carry out the council's duties.

(b)  The staff shall provide:

(1)  management oversight for the administration of this chapter; and

(2)  policy guidance and administrative support to the council.

(c)  The council shall develop and implement policies that clearly separate the policymaking responsibilities of the council and the management responsibilities of the staff of the council.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1304, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 132, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  122.0057.  Advisory Committee.

(a) The council may establish an advisory committee if the council considers the committee necessary. The membership of the committee is determined by the council.

(b)  The council shall specify the purpose and duties of the advisory committee, which must include:

(1)  reviewing the effectiveness of the program administered under this chapter; and

(2)  recommending procedures to create higher skilled and higher paying employment opportunities.

(c)  Members of an advisory committee serve at the will of the council. The council may dissolve an advisory committee when appropriate.

(d)  The council shall make reasonable attempts to have balanced representation on all advisory committees, including attempting to seek representation from:

(1)  the Lighthouse for the Blind community rehabilitation programs;

(2)  the Goodwill community rehabilitation programs;

(3)  the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation community rehabilitation program;

(4)  other community rehabilitation programs;

(5)  representatives from central nonprofit agencies;

(6)  representatives of disability advocacy groups;

(7)  government purchasing agents with knowledge of this chapter;

(8)  private industry representatives with knowledge of this chapter; and

(9)  private citizens who have a disability and have knowledge of the sale of products and services.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1304, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section 122.006.  Sunset Provision.

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

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1169, Sec. 2.07, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 132, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 2, Sec. 2.14, eff. July 10, 2009.



Section  122.007.  Fair Market Price; Purchasing Procedures.

(a) The council shall determine the fair market price of all products and services manufactured or provided by persons with disabilities and offered for sale to the various agencies and departments of the state and its political subdivisions by a community rehabilitation program. The council shall ensure that the products and services offered for sale offer the best value for the state or a political subdivision.

(b)  A subcommittee composed of three council members appointed by the presiding officer shall review the data used to determine fair market price and shall make recommendations to the council concerning fair market price for the products and services and offering the best value to customers.

(c)  The council shall revise the prices periodically to reflect changing market conditions.

(d)  Before offering for sale products and services manufactured or provided by persons with disabilities to state agencies and political subdivisions, the council shall test the goods and services in accordance with Section 2155.069, Government Code, to the extent necessary to ensure quality. The council may enter into a contract with a private or public entity to assist with testing. The commission shall make awards under this section based on proposed goods and services meeting formal state specifications developed by the commission or meeting commercial specifications approved by the commission.

(e)  Requisitions for products and services required by state agencies are processed by the commission according to rules established by the commission.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1206, Sec. 25, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  122.008.  Procurement At Determined Price.

A suitable product or service that meets applicable specifications established by the state or its political subdivisions and that is available within the time specified must be procured from a community rehabilitation program at the price determined by the council to be the fair market price.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  122.009.  Records.

(a) The records of the council and of a central nonprofit agency shall, to the extent that the records pertain specifically to state purchases of the products and services of persons with disabilities, be made available upon request to the inspection of representatives of the state auditor, the governor's budget office, or the Legislative Budget Board. The inspection of the records shall be conducted with due regard to the privacy rights of persons with disabilities. A document that is available for inspection under this subsection is an open record for purposes of Chapter 552, Government Code.

(b)  The commission is the depository for all records concerning the council's operations.

(c)  The council is subject to Chapter 552, Government Code.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  122.0095.  Agency Compliance; Nonprogram Purchasing Report.

(a) Each state agency that purchases products or services through a program under this chapter shall:

(1)  designate an agency employee to ensure that the agency complies with this chapter; and

(2)  report to the commission and the council the purchase of products or services available from a central nonprofit agency or community rehabilitation program under this chapter, but purchased from another business that is not a central nonprofit agency or community rehabilitation program under this chapter.

(b)  A report under this section may be based on a sampling of purchases by the agency in an audit conducted after the purchases.

(c)  Information in the report under this section shall be included with the exception reports provided under Section 122.016.

(d)  The commission shall post the reports required by Subsection (a)(2) on the commission's website.

(e)  The council shall review the information contained in the reports under this section and Sections 122.012 and 122.016. The commission shall assist the council in reviewing and analyzing the reports in order to improve state agency compliance with this chapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1304, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 132, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section 122.010.  Cooperation With Department Of Criminal Justice.

The council may cooperate with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to accomplish the purposes of this chapter and to contribute to the economy of state government.  The council and the department may enter into contractual agreements, cooperative working relationships, or other arrangements necessary for effective coordination and the realization of the objectives of both entities.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87, Sec. 25.119, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  122.011.  Correlation With Related Federal Programs.

The council may adopt procedures, practices, and standards used for federal programs similar to the state program established in this chapter.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  122.012.  Duties Of Commission; Interagency Cooperation.

(a) The commission shall provide legal and other necessary support to the council in accordance with legislative appropriation. The commission shall assign an upper-level management employee to ensure that the commission meets the requirements of this chapter.

(b)  State agencies responsible for the provision of rehabilitation and related services to persons with disabilities shall cooperate with the council in the operation of the program. The Texas Commission for the Blind, the Texas Rehabilitation Commission, and other state human services agencies responsible for assisting persons with disabilities may, through written agreements or interagency contracts, provide space, storage, logistical support, consultation, expert services, communications services, or financial assistance with respect to any function or responsibility of the council.

(c)  The commission or a state agency may not assume the marketing or fiscal responsibility for the expense of marketing the products and services of persons with disabilities under the program.

(d)  The commission shall include the programs administered under this chapter in the commission's procurement policy manuals.

(e)  After any audit or review the commission conducts with regard to state agency compliance with purchasing laws and procedures, the commission shall report to the council a state agency that is not complying with this chapter.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1304, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 132, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  122.013.  Rules.

(a) The council shall adopt rules for the implementation, extension, administration, or improvement of the program authorized by this chapter in accordance with Chapter 2001, Government Code.

(b)  The commission shall provide legal support to assist the council in adopting rules under this section.

(c)  The council shall adopt rules to:

(1)  address possible conflicts of interest for central nonprofit agencies and community rehabilitation programs;

(2)  establish a process for the certification of community rehabilitation programs;

(3)  establish a minimum percentage of disabled labor an organization must employ to be considered a community rehabilitation program under this chapter; and

(4)  define the terms "value-added" and "direct labor" for products manufactured and services provided that are offered for sale under this chapter.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1304, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  122.014.  Product Specifications.

Except as otherwise provided by this section, a product manufactured for sale through the commission to any office, department, institution, or agency of the state under this chapter shall be manufactured or produced according to specifications developed by the commission. If the commission has not adopted specifications for a particular product, the production shall be based on commercial or federal specifications in current use by industry for the manufacture of the product for sale to the state.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  122.015.  Determinations Of Fair Market Value.

(a) In determining the fair market value of products or services offered for sale under this chapter, the subcommittee established under Section 122.007(b) and the council shall give due consideration to the following type of factors:

(1)  to the extent applicable, the amounts being paid for similar articles in similar quantities by federal agencies purchasing the products or services under the authorized federal program of like effect to the state program authorized by this chapter;

(2)  the amounts which private business would pay for similar products or services in similar quantities if purchasing from a reputable corporation engaged in the business of selling similar products or services;

(3)  to the extent applicable, the amount paid by the state in any recent purchases of similar products or services in similar quantities, making due allowance for general inflationary or deflationary trends;

(4)  the actual cost of manufacturing the product or performing a service at a community rehabilitation program offering employment services on or off premises to persons with disabilities, with adequate weight to be given to legal and moral imperatives to pay workers with disabilities equitable wages; and

(5)  the usual, customary, and reasonable costs of manufacturing, marketing, and distribution.

(b)  The actual cost of manufacturing a product or performing a service consists of costs directly associated with a contract and includes costs for labor, raw materials used in the production of the product, storage, and delivery. Actual costs do not include a cost associated with an individual's preparation to perform the work activity.

(c)  The fair market value of a product or service, determined after consideration of relevant factors of the foregoing type, may not be excessive or unreasonable.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  122.016.  Exceptions.

(a) Exceptions from the operation of the mandatory provisions of Section 122.014 may be made in any case where:

(1)  under the rules of the commission, the product or service so produced or provided does not meet the reasonable requirements of the office, department, institution, or agency; or

(2)  the requisitions made cannot be reasonably complied with through provision of products or services produced by persons with disabilities.

(b)  Each month, the commission shall provide the council with a list of all items purchased under the exception provided by Subsection (a) of this section. The council shall adopt the form in which the list is to be provided and may require the list to include the date of requisition, the type of product or service requested, the reason for purchase under the exception, and any other information that the council considers relevant to a determination of why the product or service was not purchased in accordance with Section 122.014.

(c)  No office, department, institution, or agency may evade the intent of this section by slight variations from standards adopted by the commission, when the products or services produced or provided by persons with disabilities, in accordance with established standards, are reasonably adapted to the actual needs of the office, department, institution, or agency.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  122.017.  Procurement For Political Subdivisions.

A product manufactured for sale to a political subdivision of this state or an office or department thereof shall be manufactured or produced according to specifications developed by the purchaser. A political subdivision of this state may purchase products or services for its use from private businesses through its authorized purchasing procedures, but may substitute equivalent products or services produced by persons with disabilities under the provisions of this chapter. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require a nonprofit agency for persons with disabilities to engage in competitive bidding.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  122.018.  Political Subdivisions Excluded. T

here are excluded from the mandatory application of this chapter the political subdivisions of the state that are not covered by Title V of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S. Code Sections 790 through 794). This chapter does not prohibit a political subdivision from acting as a willing buyer outside a bid system.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 2953, ch. 504, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  122.019.  Central Nonprofit Agency.

(a) The council may select and contract with one or more central nonprofit agencies through a request for proposals for a period not to exceed five years. Once the selection process is completed, the council shall contract with a central nonprofit agency to:

(1)  recruit and assist community rehabilitation programs in developing and submitting applications for the selection of suitable products and services;

(2)  facilitate the distribution of orders among community rehabilitation programs;

(3)  manage and coordinate the day-to-day operation of the program, including the general administration of contracts with community rehabilitation programs;

(4)  promote increased supported employment opportunities for persons with disabilities; and

(5)  recruit and assist qualified nonprofit organizations that are managed by members of racial minorities, women, or persons with disabilities and that are in the process of qualifying as community rehabilitation programs.

(b)  The services of a central nonprofit agency may include marketing and marketing support services, such as:

(1)  assistance to community rehabilitation programs regarding solicitation and negotiation of contracts;

(2)  direct marketing of products and services to consumers;

(3)  research and development of products and services;

(4)  public relations activities to promote the program;

(5)  customer relations;

(6)  education and training;

(7)  accounting services related to purchase orders, invoices, and payments to community rehabilitation programs; and

(8)  other duties designated by the council.

(c)  Each year, the council shall review services provided by a central nonprofit agency and the revenues required to accomplish the program to determine whether each agency's performance complies with contractual specifications. Not later than the 60th day before the review, the council shall publish in the Texas Register a request for comment on the services of a central nonprofit agency that participates in community rehabilitation programs.

(d)  At least once during each five-year period, the council may review and renegotiate the contract with a central nonprofit agency. Not later than the 60th day before the date the council adopts or renews a contract, the council shall publish notice of the proposed contract in the Texas Register.

(e)  The maximum management fee rate charged by a central nonprofit agency for its services must be computed as a percentage of the selling price of the product or the contract price of a service, must be included in the selling price or contract price, and must be paid at the time of sale. The management fee rate must be approved by the council and must be reviewed on an annual basis.

(f)  A percentage of the management fee described by Subsection (e) shall be paid to the council and is subject to Section 122.023. The percentage shall be set by the council in the amount necessary to reimburse the general revenue fund for direct and reasonable costs incurred by the commission, the council, and the council staff in administering the council's duties under this chapter.

(g)  The council may terminate a contract with a central nonprofit agency if:

(1)  the council finds substantial evidence of the central nonprofit agency's noncompliance with contractual obligations; and

(2)  the council has provided at least 30 days' notice to the central nonprofit agency of the termination of the contract.

(h)  The council may request an audit by the state auditor of:

(1)  the management fee set by a central nonprofit agency; or

(2)  the financial condition of a central nonprofit agency.

(i)  A person may not operate a community rehabilitation program and at the same time contract with the council as a central nonprofit agency.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1304, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  122.020.  Consumer Information; Complaints.

(a) The council shall prepare information of consumer interest describing the activities of the council and describing the council's procedures by which consumer complaints are filed with and resolved by the council. The council shall make the information available to the general public and appropriate state agencies.

(b)  The council shall keep an information file about each complaint filed with the council. The file must include:

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

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

(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 or investigation of the complaint; and

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

(c)  If a written complaint is filed with the council, the council, at least as frequently as quarterly and until final disposition of the complaint, shall notify the parties to the complaint of the status of the complaint unless the notice would jeopardize an undercover investigation.

(d)  The council shall provide to the person filing the complaint and to each person who is a subject of the complaint a copy of the council's policies and procedures relating to complaint investigation and resolution.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 132, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  122.0205.  Alternative Dispute Resolution.

(a) A dispute between the council and a central nonprofit agency or a community rehabilitation program shall first be submitted to alternative dispute resolution.

(b)  This section does not constitute authorization to sue and does not modify the remedies available under other law.

(c)  This section does not limit the council's ability to request opinions from the attorney general.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1304, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  122.0206.  Negotiated Rulemaking And Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures.

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

(1)  negotiated rulemaking procedures under Chapter 2008, Government Code, for the adoption of council rules; and

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

(b)  The council'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.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 132, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  122.021.  Public Testimony And Access.

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

(b)  The council shall comply with federal and state laws related to program and facility accessibility. The council shall also prepare and maintain a written plan that describes how a person who does not speak English can be provided reasonable access to the council's programs and services.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  122.0215.  Access To Information And Records; Inspection.

(a) The council and the council's staff may access financial or other information and records from a central nonprofit agency or a community rehabilitation program if the council determines the information and records are necessary for the effective administration of this chapter and rules adopted under this chapter.

(b)  Information and records must be obtained under Subsection (a) in recognition of the privacy interest of persons employed by central nonprofit agencies or community rehabilitation programs. The information and records may not be released or made public on subpoena or otherwise, except that release may be made:

(1)  for statistical purposes, but only if a person is not identified;

(2)  with the consent of each person identified in the information released; or

(3)  regarding a compensation package of any central nonprofit agency employee or subcontractor if determined by the council to be relevant to the administration of this chapter.

(c)  The council shall adopt rules establishing procedures to ensure that the information and records maintained by the council under this chapter are kept confidential and protected from release to unauthorized persons.

(d)  The council or a central nonprofit agency at the council's direction may inspect a community rehabilitation program for compliance with certification criteria established under Sections 122.003(j) and 122.013(c). The committee designated under Section 122.003(j) shall review the inspection results and recommend appropriate action to the council.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1304, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 132, Sec. 11, 12, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  122.022.  Reports.

(a) On or before November 1 of each year, the council shall file with the governor and the presiding officer of each house of the legislature a complete and detailed written report accounting for all funds received and disbursed by the council during the preceding year. The annual report must meet the reporting requirements applicable to financial reporting provided in the General Appropriations Act.

(b)  The report submitted under this section must include:

(1)  the number of persons with disabilities, according to their type of disability, who are employed in community rehabilitation programs participating in the programs established by this chapter or who are employed by businesses or workshops that receive supportive employment from community rehabilitation programs;

(2)  the amount of annual wages paid to a person participating in the program;

(3)  a summary of the sale of products offered by a community rehabilitation program;

(4)  a list of products and services offered by a community rehabilitation program;

(5)  the geographic distribution of the community rehabilitation programs;

(6)  the number of nondisabled workers who are employed in community rehabilitation programs under this chapter; and

(7)  the average and range of weekly earnings for disabled and nondisabled workers who are employed in community rehabilitation programs under this chapter.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 693, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1304, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  122.023.  Council Funds.

All money paid to the council under this chapter is subject to Subchapter F, Chapter 404, Government Code.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  122.024.  Strategic Plan; Final Operating Plan.

The council shall prepare an agency strategic plan and a final operating plan as required by Subchapter E, Chapter 2054, Government Code.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  122.025.  Open Meetings; Administrative Procedure.

The council is subject to Chapters 551 and 2001, Government Code.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(63), (81).



Section  122.026.  Application Of Other Law.

Chapters 252, 262, and 271, Local Government Code, do not supersede this chapter.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 746, Sec. 10, eff. Aug. 28, 1995. Renumbered from Human Resources Code Sec. 122.020 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 31.01(62), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  122.027.  Technology Policy.

The council shall develop and implement a policy requiring the staff of the council or a central nonprofit agency to research and propose appropriate technological solutions to improve the council's ability to perform its functions. The technological solutions must:

(1)  ensure that the public is able to easily find information about the council on the Internet;

(2)  ensure that persons who want to use the council's services are able to:

(A)  interact with the council through the Internet; and

(B)  access any service that can be provided effectively through the Internet; and

(3)  be cost-effective and developed through the council's planning processes.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 132, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  122.028.  Program Promotion.

The council shall establish procedures for the promotion of the program administered under this chapter.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 132, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  122.029.  Duties Of State Auditor.

(a) As part of an audit of a state agency authorized under Section 2161.123, Government Code, the state auditor shall:

(1)  conduct an audit of a state agency for compliance with this chapter; and

(2)  report to the council a state agency that is not complying with this chapter.

(b)  If the state auditor reports to the council that a state agency is not complying with this chapter, the council shall assist the agency in complying.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 132, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  122.030.  Management Fee Rate; Review Process.

(a) The council shall develop a formal review process for the annual review conducted under Section 122.019(e). The review process must include:

(1)  notice to affected parties, including community rehabilitation programs;

(2)  solicitation of public comment; and

(3)  documentation provided by a central nonprofit agency in support of a proposed management fee rate change.

(b)  Before making a decision relating to the management fee rate, the council shall consider:

(1)  any public comment received;

(2)  documentation provided by a central nonprofit agency; and

(3)  any documentation provided by a community rehabilitation program or the public.

(c)  The council shall adopt rules to implement this section.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 132, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.


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