It's Been a Busy Month in the Legislature!
Budget News! The Texas House has passed CSHB 1 which is the state budget for 2018-2019. In a year when we have experienced a decline in oil and gas revenue and sales tax collections, we managed to add money for critical needs for children through Child Protective Services (CPS), additional resources to address mental health issues, increased funding for border operations, and increased funding to schools across the state. In addition, we added $500 million for health insurance for our retired teachers in TRS-Care. Now the House and the Senate have to work together to come up with a budget both chambers can agree on. That process will take up much of April and May.
I recently laid out House Bill 1296 in front of the House Insurance Committee which will require certain health plans to synchronize the refill dates for patients with a chronic illness. Many folks have called me and told me how important this bill is to them!
In keeping with my work to prevent crimes against children, I filed House Bill 4013 to give law enforcement guidance to release a child when the child has been rescued from a harmful situation. I look forward to laying this bill out before the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee. HB 491, the bill I filed to make sure those who are convicted of continuous human trafficking register with the sex offender registry for life, passed out of the committee and is on its way to the floor of the House for a vote.
I have also filed House Bill 2988 that will pave the way for Texas Tech University to use land for a new VA clinic that will serve our veterans! I'm really excited about this and am looking forward to discussing this bill with the House Committee on Higher Education.