May 24, 2007
Goodbye SB419, hello HB1919

The bad news is that SB419 did not make it through the House. The good news is that it's still alive as an amendment to another bill. Pete has an email from Sen. Eddie Lucio's office, which lays it out:

Unfortunately, like so many other good Senate bills, SB 419 was essentially "timed out" in the House and died. However, Senator Lucio was able to amend most of the language from SB 419 onto HB 1919 by Representative Todd Smith/Senator Leticia Van de Putte. HB 1919 requires specific treatment for individuals with traumatic brain injury. The Senate also amended language relating to mental health parity to HB 1919. Tomorrow, May 25th, the House of Representatives will decide whether or not to concur with these Senate amendments to HB 1919. Texas Association of Business and the Citizens Commission on Human Rights are both working hard to convince House members to oppose these amendments, so we have to work twice as hard to ensure members support them. We know there will be a few House members who will try to oppose the Senate amendments, but as long as we have a simple majority who support them, the current bill will remain intact with the early intervention amendments. We also have confirmation that Governor Perry will support the Senate amendments to HB 1919.

The best way for you to take action is to call your own State Representative and urge them to concur with Senate amendments to HB 1919. It would be helpful to explain to them why these amendments are important in terms of supporting Texas families and saving taxpayers money. Representative Smith's (HB 1919 author) office has been very good to work with and we do not recommend calling them at this time.

The really good news is that the ABA provision was added back along with the amendment to HB1919. Pete has the amended text for your perusal. Please contact your representative and ask him or her to support HB1919 as amended by the Senate. This is it, it's now or never. Thanks very much.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 24, 2007 to That's our Lege