TITLE 4. AGRICULTURE

PART 1. TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

CHAPTER 30. COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

SUBCHAPTER B. STATE OFFICE OF RURAL HEALTH

DIVISION 7. RURAL COMMUNITIES HEALTH CARE INVESTMENT PROGRAM

4 TAC §30.242

The Texas Department of Agriculture (Department) proposes amendments to Title 4, Part 1, Subchapter B, Division 7, §30.242, relating to the selection of grant applicants for the Rural Communities Health Care Investment Program. The amendments clarify the roll of advisors to the application process, and funding eligibility requirements.

The proposed amendments to §30.242 give the Department the discretion to consult advisors regarding applications for grant funding. The proposed amendments also remove the restriction which limits the number of grant awards that may be received by a health professional. Health professionals who have received an award in the past and who have since furthered their education to attain a different or more advanced license in a health care profession will be eligible to apply for additional grant funding.

Trent Engledow, Director of State Office of Rural Health, has determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed rule is in effect, there will be no state or fiscal impact as a result of implementing the proposal.

The public benefit anticipated as a result of administering the proposed rule will be the increased recruitment and retention of advanced health care practitioners in medically underserved communities. There will be no adverse economic effect on micro-businesses, small businesses or individuals.

Mr. Engledow has provided the following information related to the government growth impact statement, as required pursuant to Texas Government Code, §2001.021. As a result of implementing the proposal, for the first five years the proposed rules are in effect, there will be:

1. no creation or elimination of a government program;

2. no creation or elimination of employee positions;

3. no increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations to the Department;

4. no increase or decrease in fees paid to the Department;

5. no new, expanded or limited regulations;

6. no increase or decrease to the number of individuals subject to the proposal because health professionals and eligible applicants are currently subject to compliance with program rules set forth in this Subchapter B, Division 7; and

7. no economic impact upon this state's economy.

Mr. Engledow has determined that the public benefit anticipated as a result of implementing the proposed amendments will be the increased recruitment and retention of advanced health care practitioners in medically underserved communities.

Written comments on the proposal may be submitted for 30 days following publication of this proposal to Trent Engledow, State Office of Rural Health, Texas Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 12847, Austin, Texas 78711, or by email to Trent.Engledow@TexasAgriculture.gov.

The proposal is made under Texas Government Code, Chapter 487, Subchapter M, which provides the Department with the authority to administer programs supporting rural health in this state, namely the Rural Communities Health Care Investment Program, and §487.556, which provides authority for the Department to adopt rules as necessary to implement Chapter 487, Subchapter M.

The code affected by the proposal is Texas Government Code Chapter 487.

§30.242.Application Review and Selection Criteria.

(a) (No change.)

(b) If needed, the [The] department may invite advisors from outside the department to evaluate eligible applications. Advisors from outside the department shall receive no compensation or reimbursement for expenses. Advisors may not be a current or potential applicant for a grant on which the advisors would be making recommendations.

(c) - (e) (No change.)

[(f) Health professionals selected for funding may only receive a one-time award of assistance.]

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on November 14, 2017.

TRD-201704582

Jessica Escobar

Assistant General Counsel

Texas Department of Agriculture

Earliest possible date of adoption: December 31, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 463-4075