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No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
No fiscal implication to units of local government is anticipated.
The bill would amend the Government Code to authorize the Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DADS) and the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to obtain criminal history record information from Department of Public Safety (DPS) for employees and applicants of positions who have access to sensitive personal and financial information.
The bill would also authorize the executive commissioner of HHSC to require a person, whose criminal history record information was entitled to be obtained from the Department of Public Safety (DPS), to submit fingerprints to DPS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The HHSC executive commissioner and DADS would be required to destroy the acquired criminal history record information after it is utilized for its authorized purpose.
HB 2990 is a similar bill.
Certain HHSC have broad access to private personal information of people receiving or applying to receive benefits from HHSC. That type of sensitive personal information should be handled with great care and discretion.
While we generally do not support expanded background checks and mandatory finger printing as a condition of employment or occupational licensure in the private sector, the situation is different with government employees due to the authority, obligations, and broad access to information that is vested in some of these employees.
Requiring government agencies to fully investigate and vet public employees or applicants for public employment who will have broad access to private personal information of citizens is well within the legitimate role of limited government. For this reason we support SB 1540.