TMA's Legislative News Hotline

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Want to stay fully informed of the latest dealings in the Texas Legislature when it is in session? Then subscribe today to TMA Legislative News Hotline.

Hotline is a daily electronic newsletter for TMA members only that reports the legislature's latest actions on bills affecting Texas medicine. The hotline is delivered each legislative day before noon beginning Jan. 1. A weekly recap, delivered each Sunday, is also available.

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  • If you have content questions or comments, please notify Hotline editor Brent Annear
  • If you have technical difficulties, please contact the TMA Knowledge Center at (800) 880-7955, or (512) 370-1550, or

Latest issues of TMA's Legislative News Hotline

TMA Legislative News Hotline: Friday, April 28, 2017

Maintenance of Certification: The Texas Senate yesterday unanimously approved a bill that would prohibit hospitals and health insurance companies from discriminating against physicians based solely on their maintenance of certification (MOC) status.

Tobacco-Use Age: The House Public Health Committee Thursday voted 7-4 to approve the bill to raise the tobacco-use age from 18 to 21 

Parents’ Right to Know: The Public Health Committee yesterday also approved, 7-3, a bill to allow parents to see the immunization exemption rates of students in individual Texas schools, which the state currently publicizes only on a district-wide basis.

TMA Legislative News Hotline: Thursday, April 27, 2017

Residency Training Bills: Two bills to help shore up residency training were scheduled for the House Higher Education Committee today. House Bill 2478 by Rep. Sarah Davis (R-Houston) would set up a new state physician workforce pipeline program — similar to the current Primary Care Innovations Grant Program — to support residency training programs in psychiatric specialties; and House Bill 2996 by Rep. Trenton Ashby (R-Lufkin) would establish a rural resident physician small grant program at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. TMA strongly supports both these endeavors.

TMA Legislative News Hotline: Wednesday, April 26, 2017

This Just In — Committees Pass Bills: The Senate Health and Human Services Committee today unanimously endorsed Senate Bill 833 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola). The bill gives the Texas Medical Board authority to address violations relating to the corporate practice of medicine when health organizations interfere with, control, or otherwise direct a physician’s professional judgment. The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

The House Insurance Committee passed several bills important to medicine.

TMA Legislative News Hotline: Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Texas Senate on Monday passed Senate Bill 260, which would permanently shutter both the Office of Immigration and Refugee Affairs and the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Immigration and Refugees. TMA earlier testified in opposition to the bill by Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas) because abolishing the programs would dent Texas’ ability to ensure public health needs surrounding refugees are met. “Texas needs dedicated, informed public personnel and private citizens with expertise on the issues of immigration and refugee affairs in Texas,” TMA’s testimony reads. The bill, approved by a 20-10 margin, heads to the House for consideration.

TMA Legislative News Hotline: Monday, April 24, 2017

The House-Senate Budget Conference Committee begins its work this week.

Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) and Sens. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen), Joan Huffman (R-Houston), Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), and Charles Schwertner, MD (R-Georgetown), will be joined by House conferees led by House Appropriations Committee Chair John Zerwas, MD (R-Richmond). His fellow House members on the panel are Reps. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin), Sarah Davis (R-West University Place), Larry Gonzalez (R-Round Rock), and Oscar Longoria (D-Mission). Of note: Two physicians will serve on the panel to decide the state’s budget for the next two years..