Capitol Update

Rep. Chris Paddie – June 28, 2017

As we finish the second week of the special session, both the House and the Senate continue working on the bills that Governor Abbott has included in his calls for the session.

This week, the House unanimously approved the must-pass sunset bill, HB 1. This bill will continue the Texas Medical Board, the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Fam­ily Therapists, the Texas State Board of Examiners of Profes­sional Counselors, and the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners. All of these boards would have ceased to exist on September 1st if this legislation had not passed. Without these boards, the professionals currently practicing in these professions would have no longer been licensed, with a wide range of consequences from loss of insurance to unqualified and untrained persons possibly holding themselves out as professionals.

The House also passed HB 13 which will require doctors to report complications related to abortion procedures. Cur­rently there is no penalty for not reporting these complica­tions, which results in incomplete and incorrect data relating to the risks of having an abortion. Having complete data will help the legislature draft the best possible policy moving for­ward.

The State Affairs Committee met several times this week to pass important pro-life measures. The committee passed HB 13, which also passed the full House this week, as well as HB 14 and HB 215. HB 14 will prevent any governmental entity from providing any financial assistance to an abortion provider. This bill includes use of governmental facilities or any other type of financial assistance that some entities have previously provided to abortion providers. This is a common sense extension of current practices that prohibit taxpayer dollars from paying for or supporting abortion providers.

HB 215 establishes reporting requirements for abortions where the mother is a minor and has obtained the abortion either with the permission of her parents or a court or where an abortion is conducted as a result of a fetal abnormality. This reporting will also provide more complete information to the state as to why certain abortions are being conducted, which will help to allocate resources more effectively to help prevent the need for abortions in the future.

The House Select Committee on State and Federal Power and Responsibility also met this week…

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