Jun 14, 2011

Senate Names Negotiators for Budget, Health Bills

TMA Legislative News Hotline

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa

Last week, the Texas House gave final approval to three key budget bills. It made changes to each, especially the bill aimed at generating more money for 2012-13 budget and the omnibus health care bill. The Senate decided not to accept the House’s changes and sent all three bills to conference committee yesterday. Here are the bills and Senate members selected to be on each conference committee:
  • Senate Bill 1 would generate about $3.7 billion for the next two-year budget. Senate conferees for SB 1 are Sens. Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock); Robert Deuell, MD (R-Greenville); Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen); Florence Shapiro (R-Plano); and Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands).
  • SB 2 would amend current law relating to appropriating money for the support of state government for the 2012-13 budget. Money cannot be allocated to certain parts of government without the passage of this bill. Senate conferees are Sens. Steve Ogden (R-Bryan), Duncan, Hinojosa, Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), and Williams.
  • SB 7 is the omnibus health care bill by Senator Nelson. Conferees are Senators Nelson, Deuell, Hinojosa, Shapiro, and John Carona (R-Dallas).
The House conference committee members have not been selected yet.

House Bill 13 by Rep. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) is before the House today for a final vote. The House tentatively approved the measure last Friday. The legislation would allow Texas to seek a federal waiver to fund Texas Medicaid. It’s before the House today for a final vote.

Please take a few minutes to call the capitol on two key issues today.
  • Legislation to ban smoking in certain public places is still burning. If passed, the bill would save Medicaid more than $30 million because fewer people will get sick. The Senate may make take up its version of the bill — SB 28 by Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) — early this week. Please call your senator — if you’re from Houston, call Sen. Mike Jackson (R-Houston) — in support of SB 28.
  • Also, please take a moment today to call Gov. Rick Perry’s office at (512) 463-2000. Ask the governor to support the silent PPO amendment (No. 20) on Senator Nelson’s SB 7. The amendment promotes transparency of who is using physician and hospital contracted discounts. Governor Perry’s support is critical to keeping regulation of silent PPOs alive.
TMA’s Tele-2011 Legislative Update
In case you missed the Tele-2011 Legislative Update by TMA President C. Bruce Malone, MD, and physician leaders from TMA’s Council on Legislation — Gary Floyd, MD, and Dan McCoy, MD —you still can hear and see what they discussed. An audio recording and video are available on the TMA website.

Pro-Choice Group Files Suit over Sonogram Law
(Houston Chronicle)
Medicaid pay cut fight finds Justice Dept. at odds with doctors (American Medical News)
Why ObamaCare Is Losing in the Courts
(Wall Street Journal

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