With 10 days left in the 84th Legislative session, there are still a handful of major decisions pending. Here is a preview of upcoming action we’re watching and some of our work from the past week.
What we’re watching:
The full Senate should consider HB 1624, a good bill that would help people shopping for health insurance get accurate information about the list of covered drugs and in-network doctors on various plans. CPPP supports HB 1624.
A bad proposal (HB 2835) that would put seriously ill undocumented children who are eligible for services lower on the Children with Special Health Care Needs waiting list than U.S. citizen kids was voted out of the House Health and Human Services Committee Thursday. CPPP opposes HB 2835.
Related article in the Austin American-Statesman.
HB 1908, which would support former inmates’ mental health needs post-release, was approved by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. CPPP supports HB 1908, and we look forward to a full Senate vote.
Related blog: Mental health reintegration services’ eligibility is too limited
Related testimony supporting HB 1908
The House approved a bill to address surprise medical billing (SB 481), and it now heads to the Senate.
Related article from The Atlantic: The Agony of Medical Bills
Related blog: Surprise medical bills taking toll on Texans
The full Senate may consider HB 1514, a bad bill referred to sometimes as “the scarlet letter bill.” The bill will not fix any problems with health insurance and opens the door to discrimination against patients who have bought insurance through the Marketplace set up under the Affordable Care Act. CPPP opposes HB 1514.
Related article in the Houston Chronicle.
Highlights from the past week:
SB 1750, a good bill that would encourage colleges and universities to get students into off-campus jobs, has now passed both chambers.
Related blog: Work-study jobs that lead to Texas careers
A good bill (SB 1507) to establish a forensic director at the Department of State Health Services to safely reduce the incarceration of people who primarily need mental health treatment has passed both chambers and awaits signature by Governor Abbott.
The Texas Senate and House have settled on a tax plan that includes a $10,000 increase in the school property tax homestead exemption and a 25 percent franchise tax rate reduction for businesses.
CPPP press release highlighting how tax cuts put our future at risk.
The Senate briefly considered hearing SB 1819, a bad bill that would repeal in-state tuition for non-citizen Texas residents. Be sure your senator knows to oppose SB 1819 to protect the future of Texas’ skilled workforce.
Related fact sheet (English and Spanish)
The House approved a bill (HB 4) to enhance Pre-K in Texas. CPPP supports HB 4 as a first step toward expanding and enhancing Texas Pre-K. The bill awaits Governor Abbott’s signature.
In case you missed it:
Texas Medicaid Spending in Context (fact sheet)
Texas and Obamacare: A Status Update (presentation)