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Legislative Tracking: 85th Texas Legislature
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85th Legislative Session Wrap-Up (2017)


 

Bills Related to NASW-TX Legislative Agenda

 

This was a challenging session for NASW, as we saw little movement on the bills we either directly helped create or that aligned most closely with our agenda.  We had one major victory in HB 3083, as we got language into the Texas Education Code that requires the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to apply for any matching federal funds available for mental health loan repayment programs in 2018.  This one-to-one match could increase the dollars in our mental health program by up to $4million over 4 years.

 

We received a hearing in the House on our caseworker education requirements bill for CPS, but nothing in the Senate, and we received word from the Governor that he would potentially veto either of these bills.  The school social work services bill moved favorably out of committee, but unfortunately ran into issues with the sponsor.  Representative Farrar filed a bill that would have brought some of the same abortion requirements and language for prostate exams for men, and in retaliation, members of the far right helped kill many of her bills, including this one.  We’ve already started putting together data on the numbers of social workers in districts though, and will visit every legislator with specific resources regarding their districts.

 

We also had great support from Representative Moddy on a bill that would allow LMSW’s under supervision to bill Medicaid at 70% and LCSW’s to receive 100% of the Medicaid reimbursement rate.  Unfortunately, we did not receive a hearing on this bill.  Lastly, a bill that would have automatically made the home addresses of licensed social workers received good support in the House, but was unable to get a hearing in the Senate.

 

Bill Number

Author

Bill Description

NASW Stance

Outcome

HB 353

Bernal (D)

Behavioral health professionals to certain public schools.

Support

Referred to Public Education- Died in committee.

HB 442

Martinez (D)

Preventing online publication of home addresses for Mental Health Professionals.

Support

Made it out of House, did not reach Senate.

HB 634/SB 429

Gonzalez/Rodriguez (D)

Requires the completion of a bachelor's degree for caseworkers.

Support

Referred to Health and Human Services- Died in committee.

HB 743

Farrar (D)

Defines Social Work Services in the Texas Education Code.

Support

Failed to pass engrossment in the House.

HB 2898/SB 311

 

Gonzales/Hinojosa (D)

 

Creation of the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council. (Also known as Sunset Bill)

Support

Placed on calendar. Session ended before bill could be heard.

 

HB 3317

Moody (D)

Relating to the provision of counseling services by certain providers under Medicaid and reimbursement for those services.

Support

Referred to Public Health - Died In Committee

HB 3083

Price (R)

 

Relating to eligibility requirements for the repayment of certain mental health professional education loans.

Support

Enrolled and signed by the Governor

 

Bills Related to the Department of Family and Protective Services

 

 This was a big session for child welfare, and there were some major bills passed that will transform the CPS landscape going forward.  SB 11 truly moves Texas in a new direction, as this comprehensive bill privatizes case management in one region, and sets the stage for a future transfer of case management services in additionally funded regions.

 

Bill Number

Author

Bill Description

NASW Stance

Outcome

HB 1549

Burkett (R)

Requires the implementation of programs and policies to provide caseload management and services to caseworkers in DFPS. Mandates the collection of additional data and analysis for Child Protective Services.

 

Support

Enrolled and signed by Governor

HB 1342

Parker (R)

Require School districts to implement age-appropriate child self-protection training in addition the existing “anti-victimization” training that is currently in statute.

Support

Vetoed by Governor

HB 4

Burkett* (R)

Amends current law relating to monetary assistance provided by the Department of Family and Protective Services to certain relative or designated caregivers, creates a criminal
offense, and creates a civil penalty.

Support

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

 

SB 11

Schwertner* (R)

Regarding the provision protective services and other health and human services by certain state agencies or under contract with a state agency, including foster care, child protective, relative and kinship caregiver support, prevention and early intervention health care, and adoption services. This contract care is part of a move towards "community-based care" model. This model provides provisions to allow for the development of privatized kinship services.

Neutral

Enrolled and Signed by Governor.

 

 

 

HB 3859

Frank (R)

Allocates protections for individuals to practice their "sincerely held religious beliefs." This bill has implications regarding discrimination of children in the foster care system, particularly individuals within the LGBT community. The bill will mandate that a provider in child welfare systems can act in accordance with their beliefs. This protection afforded to foster parents and facilities could result in providers imposing their beliefs on children in foster care.

Oppose

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

 

HB 77

Wu* (D)

Relating to child protective services suits, motions, and services by the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Neutral (We like some parts of the bill)

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

HB 1542

Price* (R)

Requires DFPS, in determining whether a placement is in a child's best interests, to consider whether the placement is the least restrictive setting for the child; is the closest in geographic proximity to the child's home; is the most able to meet the identified needs of the child; and satisfies any expressed interests of the child relating to placement, when developmentally appropriate.

Oppose

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

HB 5

Frank* (R)

Removes DFPS from the state's health and human services system under the direction of the Health and Human Services Commission.

Neutral

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

 

Bills Related to LGBTQ+ Rights

 

The legislation put forth during the 85th legislative session targeted the most vulnerable and marginalized communities within the LGBTQ+ community. So much so that the Equality Texas Foundation called the 85th legislative session the “session of oppression.” During this session more than two dozen bills targeting LGBTQ+ people were filed.  

 

The most infamous of these bills would be SB 6 (also known as the “bathroom bill”) authored by Senator Lois Kolkhorst. Although this bill was passed by the Senate it did not make it past the House. Senate Bill 6 would have regulated the use of bathrooms and changing facilities based on one’s sex on their birth certificate. Senate Bill 6 would have mandated criminal charges and fines for those violating the new legislation. The National Association of Social Workers stands with the opposition of SB 6 and other legislation like it.

 

As spoken about previously in the section titled “Bills Related to the Department of Family and Protective Services” this session passed House Bill 3859. House Bill 3859 would provide state funded child welfare providers the ability to refuse to serve clients based on a “sincerely held religious belief.” This bill would allow adoption agencies to turn away potential parents they find objectionable on religious grounds. Through this proposed law, it would allow faith-based agencies to discriminate against potential parents who are gay, single or of a religion that members of the adoption agency find objectionable.

 

Bill Number

Author

Bill Description

NASW Stance

Outcome

SB 2078

Taylor, L*(R)

Original text discusses the duties of schools in emergency situations. Amendment introduced by Representative Paddie requires students to use the bathroom of their assigned sex at birth. This amendment also provides legal protection for these schools.

 

Oppose

Passed by senate then amended in the house. The Senate did not concur, wanting their more restrictive SB 06 passed. Bill is dead.

SB 6

Kolkhorst (R)

The "bathroom bill" intended to be passed by the senate. This bill would of imposed restrictions to individuals, mandating the use of the bathroom that corresponds to their sex on their birth certificate. Locations affected by this bill include all state agencies, schools, and organizations contracted for by the state. SB 06 would have provided for an additional provision for criminal charges and fines.

 

Oppose

Received from the senate and die before being heard by the House.

 

 

Bills Related to Mental Health

 

The 85th legislative session was one of the best sessions for mental health services that Texas has seen in decades, although there is still much more work to do. Bipartisan efforts to address issues of mental health yielded HB 10, (Rep. Price- R), the omnibus bill promoting regulation and enforcement of parity- making sure that mental healthcare is on par with physical healthcare, this helps Texans who were having needed services denied simply because they were mental health related.  HB 10 also provides an ombudsman to assist these clients & their families navigate through an opaque healthcare system that is often frustratingly bureaucratic and unaccommodating.  Other bills by Rep. Price include HB 13- authorizing a matching grant program for community mental health programs providing services and treatment, including allocated funding specifically for rural initiatives; and HB 1486 which establishes a certification process for peer specialists and allows them to bill Medicaid- a huge step towards addressing Texas’ woefully inadequate mental health workforce.

 

Rep. Thompson’s (R) HB 1600 also passed.  It is a common sense bill that allows a child who is a recipient of Medicaid to access a mental health screening during a routine Texas Health Steps visit.  Previously adolescents who are Texas Health Steps beneficiaries were only allowed coverage of one mental health screening from the ages of 12-18.

 

A diminished version of the Sandra Bland Act (SB 1849, Whitmire; HB 2702, Coleman) passed, making allowances for people in police custody who have mental health concerns. This was a great mental health bill, providing structure for better mental health screenings, more jail diversion, and better access to mental health professionals while in custody.  The original version included critical police accountability and transparency, but was amended to remove police accountability and restraint prior to the passage of the bill.  Unfortunately the bill is now misnamed because it doesn’t address the reasons that Sandra Bland was killed.

 

Sandra Bland’s death was not mental health related, -she should not have been arrested in the first place. Other related legislation preventing officers from arresting someone for a non-jailable offense failed to pass.

 

Additionally, the legislation we opposed was also introduced to create a licensing board for Analytical Behavioral Analysts.  

 

Bill Number

Author

Bill Description

NASW Stance

Outcome

HB 10

Price (R)

Bill provides parity for mental health coverage though insures. This legislation prevents insurance companies from offering mental health benefits that are different from medical benefits. Additionally, HB 10 provides assistance for consumers who believe that their insurance is wrongly denying them coverage.

Support

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

 

HB 13

Price (R)

Seeks to create locally driven solutions to mental health challenges by providing a matching grant program to support community mental health programs.

Support

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

 

HB 1486

Price (R)

Requires HHSC to establish training, certification, and supervision requirements for peer specialists. Additionally, this bill mandates that peer specialists are included in Medicaid.

Support

Enrolled and signed by the Governor.

HB 1600

S. Thompson (D)

Relating to certain mental health screening under the Texas Healthy Step Program.

Support

Enrolled and signed by the Governor.

SB 1743

Zaffrini (D)

Abolishes the Office for the Prevention of Developmental Disabilities as an independent office administratively attached to the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), transfers the office to The University of Texas at Austin as a program, and renames the office as the Office for Healthy Children.

Support

Vetoed by Governor.

HB 435

King, K* (R)

Relating to the carrying of weapons, including the application of certain weapons and handgun license laws to certain persons, the carrying of handguns by license holders on the property of a state hospital, and the liability for certain actions of volunteer emergency services personnel licensed to carry a handgun; providing a civil penalty.

Neutral

Enrolled and Signed by Governor.

SB 589

Lucio (D)

Regarding the licensing and regulation of behavior analysts and assistant behavior analysts; requiring an occupational license; imposing fees.

Oppose

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

SB 1428

Taylor, V (R)

Relating to the provision of mental health tele-health medical services.

Support

Filed, never got out of Senate Committee.

SB 922

Buckingham (R)

Requires the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to ensure that Medicaid reimbursement is provided to certain school districts and charter schools for tele-health services provided through the school district or charter school by certain health professionals, even if the health professional is not the patient's primary care provider.

Support

Enrolled and Signed by Governor.

 

Bills Related to Education

 

The 85th legislative session centered on the issues of school finance and school choice reforms. The NASW/TX opposed legislation implementing school choice. School choice is known by many names including school vouchers and educational savings accounts (ESAs). The proposed bill- HB 1335- would create an account which can be used for the cost of education and therapies for students with special needs. These accounts would take these funds from the district the student resides in for the educational needs of the child. This money will be allocated for varying needs of students. For parents that can already afford to homeschool or send their child to private school this will be beneficial as it. Unfortunately, The NASW stands with the opposition against ESA and school choice legislation.

 

Social workers are concerned about how school choice policies will impact school districts and the availability of quality education. While this could be help a few families, it will likely be devastating to the availability of quality education for other communities. Communities who do not have the material and financial means to send their children to specialized programs will become victims of dwindling resources in local districts. Additionally, schools with inadequate resources could end up pressuring parents to send their child to another school that can focus on special education. The movement of special needs students would reduce social interaction with the general education environment, this interaction is vital for students social emotional development. Furthermore, the voucher program allows parents to send students to private education facilities where there are fewer regulations and less oversight as private schools do not have to require the same level of certification for teachers and are held to lower standards by the TEA.

 

NASW- TX believes that all students should have access to quality education. We identify ‘school choice’ as an agenda that will harm a Texan’s right to this quality of education. HB 1335 and bills similar to it privatize special education programs, and take away vital financial resources needed to maintain them.  Texas failed to pass HB 1335, but far from being defeated, Governor Abbott has made this an issue to be addressed in a special legislative session. Protections were also provided this session to reduce the school to prison pipeline. HB 674 limits a school's ability to assign out of school suspension to students below the grade of three. The NASW supports this bill as a means to reduce the criminalisation of student behaviors.

 

In special education, the state previously limited enrollment to a maximum of 8.5% of the total population of a given school.  This enrollment cap forced many students with special needs to perform without necessary accommodations. This session brought a landmark success for disability services as SB 160 removed this cap on special needs students at schools, allowing for students to be able to receive the assistance they need to succeed in school.

Legislation supporting students who are unable to afford meals was passed and signed by the governor. These bills will assist students by increasing flexibility for students whose meal accounts are overdue or negative. Supporting school meals, an amendment to the Texas Education Code now allows for schools to donate their leftover food to students and nonprofit organizations. It is hoped that this school lunch legislation will reduce the occurrence of “lunch shaming” resulting from students not having money in their accounts for food.

 

Bill Number

Author

Bill Description

NASW Stance

Outcome

HB 1335

Simmons* (R)

School choice for special needs students.

Oppose

Did not make it out of House Public Education Committee; Governor put this bill on the agenda for special session.

HB 21

Huberty* (R)

Intended to update formulas used to determine entitlement under the Foundation School Program (FSP) and sets the minimum basic allotment equal to $5,140

Support

Passed House and Senate, died.

SB 1566

Kolkhorst (R)

Requires more school board oversight over student achievement and school district operation. An amendment in this bill requires local school boards to develop a grace period policy that guarantees students without enough money in their school lunch accounts have sufficient time to resolve the issue.

Support

Enrolled and Signed by Governor.

SB 160

Rodríguez (D)

Bans the number of students of how many students can be in Special Ed.

Support

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

SB 725

Miles (D)

Amends the Education Code related to the authority of a school district to donate food to a nonprofit organization to be served to students of the district and the overdue or negative balances on student meal accounts. The bill would authorize school districts to allow campuses to elect to donate excess food to a non-profit organization through an official of the organization who is directly affiliated with the campus.

Support

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

 

Bills Related to Criminal Justice

 

This session, criminal justice and mental health advocates put emphasis on Senate Bill 1849 (SB 1849) by Sen. Whitmire, also known as the Sandra Bland Act. The bill was named for Sandra Bland, an African-American woman who died in Waller County Jail after she was arrested for a traffic stop in July 2015. The original version of the bill by Rep. Coleman included provisions that would have regulated racial profiling and required counseling of police officers who had racially profiled, however it stalled in committee. The Senate companion bill passed, but only after the provisions that the law enforcement community objected to were omitted from the bill. This resulted in a watered-down version of Rep. Coleman’s bill. While SB 1849 addresses mental health and jail reform such as diversions for individuals with mental health or substance abuse issues toward treatment instead of punitive measures, it fails to address the systematic racism inherent in our criminal justice system.

 

House Bill 245 (HB 245) by Rep. Eric Johnson is one bill that increases transparency in the criminal justice system by requiring law enforcement agencies to report injuries and deaths in jails by penalizing agencies that fail to comply with reporting requirements.

 

The Legislature successfully passed Senate Bill 292 (SB 292) by Senator Huffman which creates a match grant program for counties to address the mental health issues of previously incarcerated individuals to help reduce recidivism, arrest and incarceration among individuals with mental illness. Legislators also passed House Bill 337 (HB 337) by Rep Collier, which ensures the continuous eligibility of Medicaid of an individual who has been released from prison or jail. This bill allows formerly incarcerated individuals to keep medical benefits, by suspending rather than terminating them. Access to health care will give this population the medication and therapy they need, thus increasing recidivism rates. The passage of these bills are steps to improving the lives of individuals caught in the criminal justice system.

SB 1326 by Zaffirini  

 

Bipartisan bill HB 122 by Rep. Dutton would have changed the age of criminal responsibility from 17 to 18, however it was never referred to committee.

 

Bill Number

Author

Bill Description

NASW Stance

Outcome

HB 29

Thompson, Senfronia* (D)

Improves Texas' response to human trafficking, including enhanced penalties for traffickers, providing prosecutors with additional tools for prosecution, improving victim protections, and addressing training needs; It also amends current law relating to prostitution and the trafficking of persons, the investigation and prosecution of and punishment for certain sexual offenses and offenses involving or related to trafficking, reimbursement of certain costs for criminal victims who are children, and the release and reporting of certain information relating to a child; increases a criminal penalty; and creates a criminal offense.

Support

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

SB 1849

Whitmire (D)

Also known as the Sandra Bland Act, this bill mandates that county jails divert people with mental health and substance abuse issues toward treatment, making it easier for defendants with a mental illness or intellectual disability to receive a personal bond. It also requires independent law enforcement agencies investigate jail deaths.

Support

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

HB 245

 

 

Johnson, Eric* (D)

Requires law enforcement agencies to report injuries and deaths in jails, by penalizing agencies that fail to comply with reporting requirements.

Support

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

HB 281

D. Howard (D)

Establishes a statewide electronic tracking system for sexual assault evidence kits, this bill intends increases transparency between law enforcement agencies & sexual assault victims.

Support

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

HB 1729

V. Neave (D)

Establishes a program that monitors and tests evidence for rape kits.

Support

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

SB 1326

Zaffirini (D)

Sets out requirements for a county jail-based competency restoration program and defines "competency restoration" as the treatment or education process for restoring a person's ability to consult with the person's attorney with a reasonable degree of rational understanding, including a rational and factual understanding of the court proceedings and charges against the person.

Support

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

HB 337

Collier* (D)

Requires suspension of Medicaid services while someone is in jail rather than automatic termination.

Support

Enrolled without Governor's signature.

HB 122

Dutton* (D)

Relating to the age of criminal responsibility and to certain substantive and procedural matters related to that age. Changes age from 17 to 18 years.

Support

Bill passed House, was not referred to Senate Committee.

 

Bills Related to Immigration

 

Senate Bill 4 (SB 4) was arguably the most controversial bills signed into law by the Governor this session. This bill attempts to eliminate “sanctuary cities” by making local officials who refuse to enforce the federal government’s agenda of enforcing immigration law criminally liable. A sanctuary city is “a city that limits its cooperation with the national government effort to enforce immigration law.” Texas will be the first state to ban sanctuary cities once it goes into effect September 1, 2017.

 

 Originally, legislators claimed that SB 4 was intended to catch undocumented people who have committed crimes in Texas. However, the bill deviated from its intent, making it punitive to all undocumented immigrants. The bill is quite similar to Arizona’s “show me your papers” law, (also known as Proposition 187), because being lawfully detained can be as minimal as an encounter with law enforcement for a traffic stop. The bill was further amended to allow police officers to question immigration status of any person they detain.

 

SB 4 enforces federal immigration law compliance on state and local entities but does exclude enforcement in hospitals, churches, school districts, open-enrollment charter schools, and public health centers. All campus police departments in higher education, (both public & private, and community institutions), on the other hand are required to comply with the new law. Peace officers can question a person’s immigration status, even if that person is a victim or witness to a crime. Amendments that attempted to offer protection to pre-kindergarten children, homeless shelters, and shelters for battered and abused women, were voted down by the Texas House.

SB 4 mandates that law enforcement agencies or campus police be penalized with fines if they violate state and federal immigration law. Any elected official of a political subdivision in violation of any sections of SB 4 or federal immigration law, would be forced to forfeit their position.

 

The NASW/TX and other opponents of this legislation are concerned about SB4 disproportionately targeting immigrant communities, specifically the Latino community. This law will negatively impact the most vulnerable populations in Texas, including immigrant families, children, victims of sexual and domestic violence, and human trafficking victims. Social workers oppose procedures and policies that target immigrants solely on the basis of country of origin, religion, or race. In addition, we are against racism and discrimination or profiling on the basis of origin, gender, sexual orientation, or other grounds.

 

Another immigration bill NASW actively advocated against was Senate Bill 1018 (SB 1018) by Senator Hughes, also known as the ‘baby jails bill.’ This bill would have licensed private immigrant detention centers as “child care facilities.” On the Federal level, there is a limit for how long detention centers can hold families, (including women and children), who cross the border unless the detention center is licensed as a child care facility by the state. SB 1018 permits prison companies to obtain a license as a ‘child care facility’ in order to detain children longer and receive more money from their contract with the federal government. The ‘baby jails bill’ died in House Committee.

 

Bill Number

Author

Bill Description

NASW Stance

Outcome

SB 4

Perry (R)

Prohibits "sanctuary city" policies, that prohibit local law enforcement from inquiring about a person's immigration status and complying with detainer requests. These policies prohibit the sharing of information regarding a person's immigration status with the federal government.

Oppose

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

SB 1018

Hughes* (R)

Relating to the licensing of family residential centers by the Department of Family and Protective Services and the detention of certain juveniles.

Oppose

Bill passed the Senate and died in House Committee.

 

Bills Related to Health Care

 

The 85th legislative session was a progressive session for Texas health care. The NASW/TX supported most of the legislation proposed and passed during this session dealing with health care. One of the bills proposed during this session was House Bill 3151 (HB 3151) that would serve people receiving benefits through the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). Although not passed, it would have required the HHSC to create a system that would align all the renewal and recertification dates for children in the same household to alleviate the stress from the process of renewing and recertifying each child’s services on different dates.

 

NASW/TX supported six healthcare bills including HB 3151. One of these bills was HB 3276 authored by Representative Sheffield. This bill will require all freestanding emergency medical care facilities to publish any and all insurance networks they are contracted with. HB 3276 would help patients avoid unnecessary fees after receiving services from an emergency medical care facility that did not contract their insurance. HB 3276 was enrolled and signed by Governor Abbott (R).

 

House bill 1917 by Representative Raymond (D) was enrolled and signed by Governor Abbott and would allow Medicaid to continue its preferred drug benefits. Going into effect on September 1st 2017, the preferred drug list will carve into managed care allowing each managed care organization to determine what drugs are on their preferred drug list.

Senator Hancock (R) authored Senate Bill 680 (SB 680) and it was enrolled and signed by Governor Abbott and will go into effect September 1st 2017. SB 680 would protect stable patients from financial mistreatment and medication change by ensuring that “step therapy” is based on professional clinical advisement and not financial guidelines. Step therapy protocols, also known as "fail first" requirements, are used by health insurance companies to review the use of prescription drugs and control costs. Patients must first try and fail on a lower-cost medication that was selected by their health care plan before their coverage can be granted by their provider.

 

Bill Number

Author

Bill Description

NASW Stance

Outcome

HB 3151

Sheffield (R)

Seeks to address renewal concerns by requiring HHSC to develop systematic processes to align such renewal and recertification dates for children in the same household through demonstration projects.

Support

Bill passed House, did not get out of Senate Committee.

HB 3276

Oliverson* (R)

Freestanding emergency medical care facilities must now publish insurance networks they are contracted with.

Support

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

HB 1917

Raymond* (D)

Continues the ability for Medicaid to develop preferred drug benefits.

Support

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

SB 680

Hancock (R)

Ensures that "step therapy" protocols are based on clinical and not financial guidelines. Protects stable patients from having to change medications as a result of "step therapy" protocols.

Support

Enrolled and signed by Governor

HB 2425

Price* (R)

Hospitals must now provide the opportunity for a patient to designate a caregiver for after the patient is discharged. Requires the notification of the caregiver when the client is discharged from the hospital. Additionally, this bill mandates that the patient must be provided with information regarding aftercare.

Support

Enrolled and signed by Governor

HB 2891

Smithee (R)

Alters the statutory medical release form to correspond with federal laws and HIPAA guidelines.

Support

Enrolled and signed by Governor

 

Bills Related to Women’s Health & Rights

 

Bill Number

Author

Bill Description

NASW Stance

Outcome

SB 1599

Miles (D)

Relating to maternal mortality and reporting investigation information.

Support

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

HB 2466

Davis (R)

Relating to coverage of certain services related to maternal depression under the Medicaid and child health plan programs

Support

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

SB 790

Miles (D)

The bill continues the Women's Health Advisory Committee, responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Healthy Texas Women Program.

Support

Bill passed House Committee and voted on by the House; Governor vetoed the bill.

SB 8

Schwertner* (R)

Bans second-trimester abortion procedures and changes how health care provider dispose of fetal tissue. It also prohibits facilities from donating aborted fetal tissue to medical researchers and requires that embryonic and fetal tissue be buried or cremated. Provisions in this bill also changes the legal definition of "abortion." In addition, it criminalizes the use of surgical instruments in the dilation and extraction procedure (the most common and safe method of pregnancy termination).

Oppose

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

SB 1929

Kolkhorst (R)

Requires the addition maternal mortality, morbidity, and postpartum depression to the Maternal

Mortality and Morbidity Task Force.

Support

Passed house. Added to special session.

HB 3152

Thompson, S* (D)

Hospitals must now provide educational information regarding Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner's (SAFE). Additionally, first responders will not have to call ahead to ensure that a SAFE is available. Victims must now be provided with an information sheets from a SAFE developed by the DSHS.

Support

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

 

Miscellaneous Bills

 

Bill Number

Author

Bill Description

NASW Stance

Outcome

HB 62

Craddick (R)

Prohibits the use of a wireless communication device for electronic messaging while operating a motor vehicle, unless the vehicle is stopped.

Support

Enrolled and signed by Governor.

 

Budget

 

Bill Number

Author

Bill Description

Outcome

SB 1

Nelson (R)

Budget for the upcoming biennium appropriates 216.8 billion dollars, half of which is general revenue.

Enrolled and Signed by Governor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

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