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Guardianship and Alternatives Bill Tracking

The bills below could impact guardianship reform and supported decision making for people with disabilities in Texas.

Guardianship and Alternatives Bills — Passed

Guardianship and Alternatives bills passed during the 85th Texas Legislature
BILLAUTHORDESCRIPTION, REMARKS, LAST ACTION
SB 36Judith ZaffiriniRelating to the regulation of certain guardianship programs.
no datano dataRemarks: Creates standard regulation and oversight of guardianship programs through required registration and minimum standards for program operation.
no datano dataLast Action: 09-01-17 G Earliest effective date
SB 39Judith ZaffiriniRelating to guardianships for persons who have physical disabilities or who are incapacitated.
no datano dataRemarks: Reforms laws regarding abuse prevention in Powers of Attorney. Adds language related to supporters' 'fiduciary' responsibility or legal duties and decision-making authority in supported decision-making agreements (SDMAs). Clarifies that the person maintains decision-making authority in the SDMA and provides a form. Provides for appointment of alternate supporter for limited purposes.
no datano dataLast Action: 09-01-17 G Earliest effective date
SB 40Judith ZaffiriniRelating to the bond required and the bond insurance obtained for certain judges.
no datano dataRemarks: Requires county and statutory judges hearing guardianship cases to have a bond or equivalent insurance to protect against losses caused by gross negligence in performing the duties of the office.
no datano dataLast Action: 09-01-17 G Earliest effective date
SB 511Jose RodriguezRelating to a written declaration to designate a guardian before the need for a guardian arises.
no datano dataRemarks: Requires individuals wishing to declare guardian (in advance of when the guardianship is to occur) to have their written declaration notarized.
no datano dataLast Action: 09-01-17 G Earliest effective date
SB 1016Brandon CreightonRelating to the appointment and duties of court investigators for certain courts in guardianship proceedings.
no datano dataRemarks: Requires a judge to serve as a “court investigator.” Specifies that judges and the commissioners court may authorize additional court investigators for a county if necessary
no datano dataLast Action: 09-01-17 G Earliest effective date
SB 1096Judith ZaffiriniRelating to guardianships.
no datano dataRemarks: Establishes a guardian registration program.
no datano dataLast Action: 09-01-17 G Earliest effective date
SB 1709Judith ZaffiriniRelating to the requirement of a guardian to provide information regarding a ward's health and residence to certain relatives of the ward.
no datano dataRemarks: Clarifies that a guardian is not required to provide information about a person under guardianship to a relative unless the relative elects in writing to receive information. It continues to exclude a relative against whom a protective order has been issued or who has been found by a court to be guilty of abusing, neglecting, or exploiting the ward.
no datano dataLast Action: 06-15-17 G Earliest effective date
SB 1710Judith ZaffiriniRelating to applications for the complete restoration of a ward's capacity or modification of a guardianship.
no datano dataRemarks: Allows a restoration of capacity motion to proceed without appointing a successor guardian first when the original guardian resigned, was removed, or died. Provides procedural steps for investigating and reporting to the court and the person proposed for restoration concerning termination or modification of a guardianship, requiring the investigator or guardian ad litem to file the application for restoration of competency or modification on the person's behalf if in the person's best interest.
no datano dataLast Action: 09-01-17 G Earliest effective date
SB 1764Judith ZaffiriniRelating to termination of a guardianship of the estate for a ward who is the designated beneficiary of a Texas Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Program account.
no datano dataRemarks: Authorizes the court to terminate a guardianship of the estate of a person whose assets have been placed in an ABLE account for which the person is the beneficiary. Adds ABLE accounts to the list of investments considered to have met the standard required of guardians for investments for persons under guardianship. Authorizes the investment of money recovered in lawsuit by a minor or incapacitated person who has no legal guardian by a next friend or guardian ad litem in an ABLE account as well as other instruments.
no datano dataLast Action: 09-01-17 G Earliest effective date

Guardianship and Alternatives Bills — Not Passed

Guardianship and Alternatives bills not passed during the 85th Texas Legislature
BILLAUTHORDESCRIPTION, REMARKS, LAST ACTION
SB 37Judith ZaffiriniRelating to the requirement to obtain certification for attorneys representing persons in guardianship proceedings.
no datano dataRemarks: Would have required all attorneys in guardianship cases to complete a certification course provided by the State Bar of Texas.
no datano dataLast Action: 05-21-17 H Failed to pass to third reading (Vote: N: 76/Y: 62)
SB 498Judith ZaffiriniRelating to the use of person first respectful language instead of the term "ward."
no datano dataRemarks: Would have required the use of respectful language (like "person with a guardian" and "alleged incapacitated person") instead of the term "ward" in any new provision or change to the law. Would not have invalidated existing law that does not use the respectful, person-first language.
no datano dataLast Action: 05-23-17 H Failed to pass to third reading (Vote: N: 73/Y: 72)
SB 667Judith ZaffiriniRelating to establishing a guardianship compliance program.
no datano dataRemarks: Would have expanded the Office of Court Administration's (OCA) Guardianship Compliance Project. The project has assisted 18 courts by reviewing guardianship files to ensure compliance with state reporting mandates and other laws. Would have required judicial misconduct reporting to Commission on Judicial Conduct; however, court participation would be voluntary. This measure aligns with OCA's exceptional item request to fund this expansion.
no datano dataLast Action: 06-15-17 G Vetoed by the Governor

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