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No significant fiscal implication to the State or units of local government is anticipated.
The Office of Court Administration indicates implementing the provisions of the bill is not anticipated to have a significant fiscal implication for the court system.
The bill would add Subchapter H to Chapter 1151 of the Estates Code by codifying 24 rights that are already granted to persons under guardianship. The rights include: to participate in social, religious, and recreational activities, training, employment, education, habilitation, and rehabilitation of the person who is under guardianship in the most integrated setting of his or her choice; to visit with people of his or her choice; to contact the Department of Family and Protective Services he or she feels abused or neglected; and the right to vote. A ward would be able to seek relief to enforce these rights in the court having jurisdiction over the guardianship, and the court could award attorney's fees to an attorney appointed or retained to represent the ward.
The overall intention of the legislation is sound. Although we support most of the provisions in this bill, we have concerns that specific provisions (i.e. Section 1151.351 (b)(7), (9), (13), (17), and (18)) may create new entitlements and unfunded mandates. Due to these limited government concerns, we cannot fully support the bill and thus remain neutral.