S.B. No. 586


Effective Date: September 1, 1997


relating to the creation of the Guardianship Advisory Board.


SECTION 1.  Chapter 531, Government Code, is amended by adding Subchapter D to read as follows:


Sec. 531.121.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:

(1)  "Advisory board" means the Guardianship Advisory Board.

(2)  "Guardian" has the meaning assigned by Section 601, Texas Probate Code.

(3)  "Guardianship program" has the meaning assigned by Section 601, Texas Probate Code.

(4)  "Incapacitated individual" means an incapacitated person as defined by Section 601, Texas Probate Code.

(5)  "Private professional guardian" has the meaning assigned by Section 601, Texas Probate Code.

(6)  "Statutory probate court" has the meaning assigned by Section 601, Texas Probate Code.

Sec. 531.122.  ADVISORY BOARD; MEMBERSHIP AND DUTIES. (a)  The Guardianship Advisory Board shall advise the commission in adopting standards under Section 531.124 and in administering the commission's duties under this subchapter.

(b)  The advisory board is composed of one representative from each of the health and human services regions, as defined by the commission, appointed by a majority vote of the judges of the statutory probate courts in each region. If a health and human services region does not contain a statutory probate court, the representative shall be appointed by a majority vote of the judges of the statutory probate courts in the state.

(c)  To be eligible for an appointment under this section, an individual must have demonstrated experience working with:

(1)  a guardianship program;

(2)  an organization that advocates on behalf of or in the interest of elderly individuals or individuals with mental illness or mental retardation; or

(3)  incapacitated individuals.

(d)  A member of the advisory board serves at the pleasure of a majority of the judges of the statutory probate courts that appointed the member.

(e)  The presiding judge of the statutory probate courts, elected as provided by Chapter 25, may adopt rules as necessary for the operation of the advisory board.

(f)  Sections 2 and 8, Article 6252-33, Revised Statutes, do not apply to the advisory board.

Sec. 531.123.  ADVISORY BOARD; OFFICERS AND MEETINGS. (a)  The advisory board shall elect from its members a presiding officer and other officers considered necessary.

(b)  The advisory board shall meet at the call of the presiding officer.

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

Sec. 531.124.  DUTIES. (a)  With the advice of the advisory board, the commission shall:

(1)  adopt minimum standards for the provision of guardianship and related services by:

(A)  a guardianship program;

(B)  a person who provides guardianship and related services on behalf of a guardianship program or local guardianship center, including a person who serves as a volunteer guardian; and

(C)  a person who serves as a private professional guardian; and

(2)  develop and, subject to appropriations, implement a plan to:

(A)  ensure that each incapacitated individual in this state who needs a guardianship or another less restrictive type of assistance to make decisions concerning the incapacitated individual's own welfare and financial affairs receives that assistance; and

(B)  foster the establishment and growth of local volunteer guardianship programs.

(b)  The commission shall design the standards under Subsection (a)(1) to protect the interests of an incapacitated individual or other individual who needs assistance in making decisions concerning the individual's own welfare or financial affairs.

Sec. 531.125.  GRANTS. The commission by rule may award grants to a local guardianship center to establish local volunteer guardianship programs.

SECTION 2.  Not later than December 1, 1997, the statutory probate court judges shall appoint the initial members of the Guardianship Advisory Board.

SECTION 3.  Not later than December 1, 1998, the Health and Human Services Commission shall report to the governor and the legislature on the plan required under Section 531.124, Government Code, as added by this Act.

SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect September 1, 1997.

SECTION 5.  The importance of this legislation and the crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an emergency and an imperative public necessity that the constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.

Courtesy of Glenn M. Karisch, Ikard & Golden, P. C., Austin, Texas. This page was last revised on May 31, 1997.