UNDER THE ROTUNDA
In a brief floor session yesterday, the Senate referred its first bill to committee – Senate Bill 1, the draft 2020-21 budget, to Finance – indicating that committee appointments are expected at any moment. The Senate Finance Committee begins work Tuesday. House committee appointments should be announced next week.
Light agendas mean the House and Senate quickly adjourned until Tuesday.
In the meantime, bills continue to be filed in advance of the March 8 filing deadline, albeit more slowly than last session. The current count is more than 1,250 bills filed. The Texas Medical Association is monitoring more than 265 of them. Attend TMA’s 2019 Winter Conference to learn more about our legislative agenda for this session and how you can quickly and easily participate in our advocacy efforts.
New legislative sessions mean office relocations for many senators and representatives; find your lawmakers’ offices on this list.
SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK REDUX
While the legislature continues organizing and naming committees, and before we ask you to participate in TMA’s grassroots advocacy efforts, here’s a quick refresher on how a bill becomes a law in Texas.
ARE YOU A LEGISLATIVE JUNKIE?
If talk of bills and committees and backroom deals initiate tachycardia, you might want to join TMA Leading Advocates. It’s TMA’s exclusive Facebook group for legislative advocacy. Enjoy special features, news in advance, and a community of TMA members who are excited to talk about the Texas Legislature and medicine's advocacy priorities. This closed group is open only to TMA and TMA Alliance members, and TMA and county medical society staff. Join today.
TMA’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 Grassroots Action Center 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.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Sacklers Directed Efforts to Mislead Public About OxyContin, New Documents Indicate – The New York Times
CDC Warns Americans: Don’t Go to Mexico for Plastic Surgery – WOAI Radio
Call the midwife! (If the doctor doesn’t object) – Kaiser Health News, NBC News
USPSTF Reaffirms Drugs for Women at High Risk for Breast Cancer – Medscape
Why Mental Health Advocates Want Schizophrenia Reclassified As A Brain Disease – Houston Public Media
Laredoan of the Year – Laredo Morning Times
Lawsuits Challenge Rules Limiting Who Can Perform Abortions – The Wall Street Journal