UNDER THE ROTUNDA
The House and Senate convened a joint session today to canvass the votes from the November general election for governor and lieutenant governor. All members are now officially elected to office, save for the three vacant House seats that will be filled in by special elections over the next 35 days.
The operating rules both chambers adopted yesterday established standing committees and the number of members per committee. Committee member assignments are still in the works.
While no significant, substantive rule changes occurred, the House debated several issues that could resurface as legislation later this session, such as expanding the opportunities for constituents to participate in the deliberative process, and streamlining discussions on parliamentary points of order to keep bills moving through the process. Many bills die each year because time simply runs out in the 140-day session.
Both chambers adjourned until Tuesday, when the governor and lieutenant governor will be inaugurated during a day of festivities.
New legislative sessions mean office relocations for many senators and representatives; find your lawmakers’ offices on this list.
The Texas Medical Association's 2019 legislative agenda includes priorities to help advance patient care in Texas.
Top on the list are the state budget, insurance reform, scope of practice, maternal health, the Texas Medical Board and Medical Practice Act, and public health.
For more details, see “On Call at the Capitol” in the January issue of Texas Medicine.
TMA member physicians and medical students, and TMA Alliance members play a significant role in advancing medicine’s priorities at the Capitol. Here are some ways you can help:
- Register for First Tuesdays at the Capitol;
- Testify before a House or Senate committee;
- Learn more about TEXPAC, TMA’s bipartisan political action committee;
- When called to do so, respond to Action Alerts on specific bills; and/or
- Make sure you receive TMA’s Legislative News Hotline each day, via Texas Medicine Today. Here’s how: Just log in to the Edit My Interests page on your TMA profile. Ensure you get all the legislative updates by selecting "Health care issues in the Texas Legislature" as one of your Grassroots and Advocacy interests. TMA’s updates on the latest bills affecting medicine will arrive in your inbox as part of Texas Medicine Today at 2 pm each day lawmakers convene at the Capitol throughout Texas’ 86th legislative session.
PHYSICIAN OF THE DAY
Physician of the Day is a service the Texas Academy of Family Physicians (TAFP) provides the Texas Legislature. Each day the legislators are in session, the group names a physician to serve in the Capitol. This tradition started in 1971 and has continued every legislative session since, including special sessions. This program is organized by TAFP with support from TMA and the Texas Department of State Health Services. The Physician of the Day is introduced in both the Senate and the House of Representatives each day, and his or her name becomes a permanent part of the official legislative record.
Today’s physician of the day is T. David Greer, MD, of Henrietta. Dr. Greer graduated from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and is a member of TMA and the Wichita County Medical Society.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Former Texas HHSC executive commissioner named acting director for Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services – The Texas Tribune
US Cancer Death Rate Hits Milestone: 25 Years of Decline – The Associated Press
Texas hospitals adapt existing technology to tackle opioid crisis – Houston Chronicle
Texas governor weighs in on push to remove Muslim from Tarrant GOP post – Fort Worth Star-Telegram