|(a) The committee. The Sickle Cell Advisory Committee
(committee) is appointed under and governed by this section. The committee
is established under Texas Government Code, §531.012.
(b) Applicable law. The committee is subject to Texas
Government Code, Chapter 2110, concerning state agency advisory committees.
(c) Purpose. The purpose of the committee is to raise
awareness of sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait in Texas.
(1) The committee reviews and suggests methods for
raising public awareness of sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait.
(2) The committee recommends two specific strategies
in the two-year term to raise public awareness.
(1) The committee files an annual written report with
the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Executive Commissioner.
(A) The report lists:
(i) the meeting dates of the committee;
(ii) the attendance records of its members;
(iii) a brief description of actions taken by the committee;
(iv) a description of how the committee has accomplished
the tasks given to the committee by the Texas Department of State
Health Services (DSHS) and HHSC; and
(v) anticipated activities of the committee for the
(B) The report identifies the costs related to the
committee, including the cost of DSHS staff time spent in support
of the committee's activities and the source of funds used to support
the committee's activities.
(C) The report covers the meetings and activities in
the immediate preceding fiscal year and is filed with the HHSC Executive
Commissioner by the first day of December of the following fiscal
(2) The committee reports any recommendations to the
HHSC Executive Commissioner at a meeting of the HHSC Executive Council
established under Texas Government Code, §531.0051.
(3) The committee files an annual written report with
the Texas Legislature of any policy recommendations made to the HHSC
(f) Abolishment. The committee is abolished and this
section expires September 1, 2018.
(g) Composition. The committee is composed of seven
members appointed by the HHSC Executive Commissioner, including:
(1) two members from community based organizations
with experience addressing the needs of individuals with sickle cell
(2) two physicians specializing in hematology;
(3) two members of the public who are either an individual
with sickle cell disease or a parent of a person with sickle cell
disease or trait; and
(4) one representative from a health professions academic
(h) Terms of office.
(1) The term of office for each member is two years.
(2) If a vacancy occurs, a person is appointed to serve
the unexpired portion of that term.
(i) Officers. The committee selects from its members
a presiding officer and an assistant presiding officer.
(1) The presiding officer serves until September 1,
2018. The assistant presiding officer serves until September 1, 2018.
Both the presiding officer and the assistant presiding officer may
holdover until his or her replacement is selected.
(2) The presiding officer presides at all committee
meetings at which he or she is in attendance, calls meetings in accordance
with this section, appoints subcommittees of the committee as necessary,
and causes proper reports to be made to the HHSC Executive Commissioner.
The presiding officer may serve as an ex officio member of any subcommittee
of the committee.
(3) The assistant presiding officer performs the duties
of the presiding officer in case of the absence or disability of the
presiding officer. In case the office of presiding officer becomes
vacant, the assistant presiding officer serves until the committee
selects a new presiding officer.
(4) The committee may reference its officers by other
terms, such as chairperson and vice-chairperson.
(j) Meetings. The committee meets three times a year
to conduct business.
(1) The committee meets at the call of the presiding
(2) Meeting arrangements are made by DSHS staff.
(3) The committee is a "governmental body" as defined
in the Open Meetings Act, Texas Government Code, Chapter 551. Meetings
may be conducted in person, through teleconference call, or by means
of other technology.
(4) A simple majority of the appointed committee members
constitutes a quorum for the purpose of transacting official business.
(5) The committee is authorized to transact official
business only when in a legally constituted meeting with a quorum
(6) The agenda for each committee meeting includes
an opportunity for new business or for any member to address the committee
on matters relating to committee business.
(7) The agenda for each committee meeting also includes
an item entitled public comment under which any person is allowed
to address the committee on matters relating to business. The presiding
officer may establish procedures for public comment, including a time
limit on each comment.
(k) Attendance. Members must attend committee meetings
(1) A member must notify the presiding officer or appropriate
DSHS staff if he or she is unable to attend a scheduled meeting.
(2) It is grounds for removal from the committee if
(A) cannot discharge the member's duties for a substantial
part of the term for which the member is appointed because of illness
(B) is absent from more than half of the committee
meetings during a calendar year; or
(C) is absent from at least three consecutive committee
(3) The validity of an action of the committee is not
affected by the fact that it is taken when grounds for removal of
a member exists under paragraph (2) of this subsection.
(l) Staff. Staff support for the committee is provided
(m) Procedures. Roberts Rules of Order are the basis
of parliamentary decisions, except where otherwise provided by law
(1) Any action taken by the committee must be approved
by a majority vote of the members present, once quorum is established.
(2) Each member has one vote.
(3) A member may not authorize another individual to
represent the member by proxy.
(4) The committee makes decisions in the discharge
of its duties without discrimination based on any person's race, creed,
gender, religion, national origin, age, physical condition, or economic
(5) Minutes of each committee meeting are taken by
DSHS staff and approved by the committee at the next scheduled meeting.
(n) Statement by members.
(1) HHSC, DSHS, and the committee are not bound in
any way by any statement, recommendation, or action on the part of
any committee member, except when a statement or action is in pursuit
of specific instructions from HHSC, DSHS, or the committee.
(2) The committee and its members may not participate
in legislative activity in the name of HHSC, DSHS, or the committee
except with approval through HHSC's legislative process. Committee
members are not prohibited from representing themselves or other entities
in the legislative process.
(3) A committee member may not accept or solicit any
benefit that might reasonably tend to influence the member in the
discharge of the member's official duties.
(4) A committee member may not disclose confidential
information acquired through his or her committee membership.
(5) A committee member may not knowingly solicit, accept,
or agree to accept any benefit for having exercised the member's official
powers or duties in favor of another person.
(6) A committee member who has a personal or private
interest in a matter pending before the committee must publicly disclose
the fact in a committee meeting and may not vote or otherwise participate
in the matter. The phrase "personal or private interest" means the
committee member has a direct pecuniary interest in the matter but
does not include the committee member's engagement in a profession,
trade, or occupation when the member's interest is the same as all
others similarly engaged in the profession, trade, or occupation.
(o) Reimbursement for expenses. In accordance with
the requirements set forth in Texas Government Code Chapter 2110,
a committee member may receive reimbursement for the member's expenses
incurred for each day the member engages in official committee business
if authorized by the General Appropriations Act or budget execution