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JOBS Program/Voluntary Participants - S.B. 57

by Senator Zaffirini

House Sponsors: Representatives Hilderbran and Naishtat

§ Changes the participation requirement for certain welfare recipients in the Jobs Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) training program and ensures that only those volunteers who actually participate in the JOBS program are eligible for additional transitional benefits.

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JOBS Program/Child Support Recipients - S.B. 58

by Senator Zaffirini

House Sponsors: Representatives Hilderbran and Naishtat

§ Authorizes certain welfare recipients to complete education or training programs while receiving transitional child care.

§ Authorizes a person participating in education or training programs to complete those activities, if the person becomes ineligible to receive financial assistance because the person receives child support.

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Failure to Pay An Employee's Wages - S.B. 167

by Senator Harris

House Sponsor: Representative Smith

§ Provides that an employer commits an offense if the employer intends to avoid the payment of wages owed to an employee; intends to continue to employ the employee; and fails, after demand, to pay those wages.

§ Provides that an employer commits a separate offense for each pay period during which the employee earns wages that the employer fails to pay.

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Workforce Service Delivery - S.B. 417

by Senators Ellis and Harris

House Sponsor: Representative Naishtat

§ Requires the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to prepare a comprehensive report on the efforts made by Texas in integrating the delivery of state services regarding certain workforce development programs.

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Texans Work Program - S.B. 781

by Senator Ellis, et al.

House Sponsor: Representative Raymond

§ Creates a Texans Work on-the-job training program (program) as an integrated system of on-the-job training for persons who receive public assistance.

§ Provides that the intent of the bill is to enlist employers in a partnership with the state to assist recipients of public assistance in developing marketable work skills and obtaining employment.

§ Requires the program:

§ to be considered a means-tested program;

§ to be operated through courses conducted by participating employers;

§ to offer direct work experience and skills training; and

§ to be offered in each area of the state in which an officially approved employer is located.

§ Requires TWC to adopt rules to implement the program, and, in cooperation with the Texas Skill Standards Board, to develop guidelines for the approval of employer training courses.

§ Requires TWC, in determining whether to approve a particular training course, to consider several factors including the administrative burden imposed on the employer; the ability of the training to enhance employability of the trainees; the intention of the employer to retain successful trainees as employees; and the prior performance of the employer in meeting guidelines.

§ Authorizes TWC to develop incentives for employers to hire successful trainees as regular employees for at least one year.

§ Requires the Texas Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide to TWC and a local workforce development board information and technical assistance in implementing the program.

§ Sets forth the rights and duties of participating employers, regular employers, and participating trainees.

§ Requires the state to pay a monthly stipend of $600 to each trainee who demonstrates satisfactory participation in a training program.

§ Provides that the stipend does not constitute income for the purposes of eligibility for food stamps and public financial assistance.

§ Requires TWC to establish and implement a pilot program under which an individual development account is established for a recipient of financial assistance, who is employed by a person in the private sector through a subsidized Texas employment program.

§ Allows DHS, after consulting with TWC, to place limits on the amount of money contributed to a recipient's individual development account not considered as income for purposes of food stamp and public assistance eligibility.

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"Wheels for Work" Program - S.B. 1114

by Senator Ellis, et al.

House Sponsor: Representative Coleman

§ Requires TWC of public assistance in an effort to help those persons find and maintain employment.

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Job Retention and Reemployment Assistance - S.B. 1262

by Senator Ellis, et al.

House Sponsor: Representative Naishtat

§ Authorizes the workforce development division of TWC to provide ongoing job retention and reemployment assistance for a recipient of public assistance who has participated in a job training program.

§ Authorizes TWC, in providing job training and employment services and child care to eligible persons, to establish a need-based formula to allocate funds to local workforce development areas in order to ensure compliance with federal participation requirements.

§ Requires the DHS, in providing work skills and job readiness training to:

§ emphasize training for sustainable wage jobs;

§ promote understanding of nontraditional work opportunities for recipients; and

§ offer alternative assistance in areas where jobs are scarce.

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Earned Income Tax Credits - S.B. 1263

by Senator Ellis, et al.

House Sponsor: Representative Naishtat

§ Requires TWC and workforce development centers to provide information and assistance to individuals regarding the earned income tax credit.

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Workforce Training on Child Care Services - S.B. 1490

by Senators Ellis and West

House Sponsors: Representatives Coleman and Greenberg

§ Requires TWC to provide training to members of local workforce development boards regarding the management of child care services and to encourage members to be advocates for the improvement of child care quality.

§ Transfers appointment of members to the State Advisory Committee on Child Care Programs from the Board of Human Services to TWC.

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Texas Youthworks Program - S.B. 1810

by Senator Barrientos, et al.

House Sponsor: Representative Dukes

§ Creates the Texas Youthworks Program (program), administered by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA):

§ to promote the economic self-sufficiency of disadvantaged or at-risk youth by providing the youth with opportunities to acquire job skills while performing community service activities; and

§ to create opportunities for communities to restore abandoned properties and historic areas, enhance public places, and increase the availability of affordable, energy-efficient housing for individuals and families of low and very low income.

§ Provides that the program is funded by available money identified by TDHCA or other state agencies.

§ Requires an entity, in order to receive grants, to provide certain services to eligible participants, unless the entity excepts the participant requirements listed below.

§ Requires a participant to be a person who is between 16 and 24 years old, has dropped out of high school or has been determined as at-risk for dropping out of high school and is not attending a program leading toward high school graduation or obtaining a GED, meets certain low-income family requirements, and is errant, homeless, or a potential ward of the juvenile or criminal justice system, is referred by another state agency, or is educationally disadvantaged.

§ Requires a project that receives a grant from the program to provide certain benefits to the community. The bill also requires services for a youth in the program to include:

§ integrated job and education training;

§ direct access to counseling, support services, leadership training, and assistance in making the transition from training to economic self-sufficiency;

§ a training stipend for up to two years conditioned on the youth's demonstrating improved job performance and personal responsibility; and

§ an opportunity to earn scholarship awards for college tuition.

§ Sets forth provisions for the advisory board, a participant council, grant applications, and annual reporting.

§ Establishes an interagency work group to assist TDHCA in implementing and promoting the Texas Youthworks Program.

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Discriminatory Use of Genetic Information - H.B. 39

by Representative McCall, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Zaffirini

Prohibited Use of Genetic Information

§ Provides that an employer, a labor organization, or an employment agency commits an unlawful employment practice if the employer, the labor organization, or the employment agency discriminates against an individual on the basis of genetic information concerning the individual or because of the refusal of the individual to submit to a genetic test.

§ Prohibits a licensing authority from denying an application for an occupational license; from suspending, revoking, or refusing to renew an occupational license; or from taking any other disciplinary action against a license holder based on the refusal of the license applicant or license holder to submit to a genetic test, or to reveal whether the applicant or holder has submitted to a genetic test, or the results of any genetic test to which the applicant or holder has submitted.

§ Prohibits a group health benefit plan issuer from using genetic information to reject, deny, limit, cancel, refuse to renew, increase the premiums for, or otherwise adversely affect eligibility for a coverage under the group health benefit plan.

§ Prohibits an issuer of a group health benefit plan from requiring, as a condition of insurance coverage, genetic testing of a child in utero without the consent of the pregnant woman.

§ Prohibits an issuer of a group health plan from using genetic information to coerce or compel a pregnant woman to have an induced abortion.

Confidential Information, Right to Know Test Results, & Retention of Sample Provisions

§ Makes genetic information confidential and prohibits the disclosure of the information unless authorized by the individual. Provides that the "no disclosure" rule is applicable to a redisclosure of genetic information by a secondary recipient of the information. Sets forth exceptions to the "no disclosure" rule.

§ Provides that an individual who submits to a genetic test has the right to know the results of that test.

§ Requires a sample of genetic material taken for a genetic test from an individual to be destroyed promptly after the purpose for which the sample was obtained is accomplished except under certain conditions.

§ Prohibits an issuer of a group health plan from using genetic information to coerce or compel a pregnant woman to have an induced abortion.

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TWC Apprenticeship and Training Advisory Committee - H.B. 160

by Representative Rodriguez

Senate Sponsor: Senator Madla

§ Establishes the Apprenticeship and Training Advisory Committee within the Texas Workforce Commission for the purposes of recommending and evaluating a statewide plan for the development of a comprehensive program of apprenticeship training.

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AIDS and HIV Definitions - H.B. 220

by Representative Maxey

Senate Sponsor: Senator Gallegos

§ Redefines "disability" to make the Labor Code consistent with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and to delete any unnecessary duplication of AIDS or HIV that may exist within the definition.

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Policies of State Agencies Regarding Work and Family Issues - H.B. 425

by Representative Raymond, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Ellis

§ Adds a representative of the Child Care Development Board and two representatives of state agencies to the Work and Family Policies Advisory Committee to assist state agencies in developing policies to help employees meet work and family responsibilities.

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Unemployment Compensation Act - H.B. 567

by Representatives Oliveira and Yarbrough

Senate Sponsor: Senator Ellis

§ Adopts revisions to the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act, recommended by TWC.

§ Deletes obsolete taxable wage amounts and a reference to an obsolete provision of the Internal Revenue Code.

§ Allows money in a special administration fund to be spent to enforce child labor, payment of wages, minimum wage law, and pay for privatizing certain tax collections.

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Unemployment Benefits Following Disciplinary Action - H.B. 1720

by Representative Siebert, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Carona

§ Provides that an individual is not partially unemployed for a benefit period in which the individual's working hours are reduced by the individual's employer as a result of disciplinary action.

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Temporary Employment Services - H.B. 1761

by Representative Chavez, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Shapleigh

§ Prohibits a temporary employment agency from denying an application or placement in a job to an individual solely because the individual does not have a high school diploma or GED when the job does not require such a degree.

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Guidance for Work Supplementation Programs - H.B. 3116

by Representatives Greenberg and Oliveira

Senate Sponsor: Senator Ellis

§ Prohibits an employer from hiring a welfare recipient under a work supplementation program if the hiring displaces an existing employee, eliminates a vacant position created by the layoff of an employee in the preceding 30 days, or is the result of a strike.

§ Provides that a participant in a work supplementation program is considered an employee for the purposes of state and federal law, is entitled to receive compensation at a rate that is not less than the rate the employer pays other employees with similar background, training, or experience who are performing the same type of work; and is entitled to the same rights as other employees under any applicable grievance procedures.

§ Prohibits an employer participating in a work supplementation program from requiring an employee to join or refrain from joining a labor organization as a condition of employment.

§ Requires TWC to prepare an assessment on the ability of recipients of public assistance to find employment.

§ Excludes certain work supplementation programs or a volunteer work experience program from provisions.