Thank you for reading. As always, you may contact my office with your views via phone (512-463-0661) or mail (P.O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768). Here is what we have been up to these past two weeks in Austin.
The Passage of HB 3
On April 3rd, the Texas House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed House Bill 3 which invests $9 billion in Texas classrooms to boost student achievement, support teacher quality, reduce recapture, and provide property tax relief. Following a full day of productive discussion on the House Floor, I was proud to co-author and vote in support of House Bill 3, which passed the House with 149 votes.
School finance reform is the top priority for the Texas House this session and was declared an “emergency item” by Governor Greg Abbott in his biennial State of the State address. House Bill 3 is the first major rewrite of school finance laws undertaken without the threat of a court order, and it puts a stop to decades of patchwork fixes by creating a more equitable public education system.
Great to meet with members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association to hear their support for House Bill 3.
Advancing Healthcare Legislation
Last week, I had the chance to lay out two of my important bills in front of the insurance committee. First, House Bill 2231 will regulate pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to create a more level playing-field within the healthcare industry and allow market forces to drive down prescription drug prices. Second, House Bill 2967 will end surprise billing for all Texas patients by creating a fair system to determine appropriate reimbursements for out-of-network services. Both of these bills present significant solutions to increase access to affordable healthcare for Texas patients.
I enjoyed speaking with members of the Civil Air Patrol who testified in support of my bill providing them with employment protections.
Project Recovery Funding Applications
Project Recovery serves residents living within Harris County but outside Houston City Limits. They offer several programs to provide funding assistance to those affected by Harvey, 2015 and 2016 floods. To apply or learn more, go towww.harrisrecovery.org. Contact 832-927-4961 or e-mailRebuildHarris@csd.hctx.net with questions.
Hurricane Harvey Registry
The Hurricane Harvey Registry is an optional survey for those affected by Hurricane Harvey in any capacity or even those not affected. It just released its initial report that revealed the extent of Harvey’s impact on housing, debris, and physical and mental health. The report largely focuses on data collected in Harris County and seeks to provide ideas on the best ways to connect those who register with long-term recovery resources. To take the survey or read the initial report, go to harveyregistry.rice.edu.
Dr. Tom Oliverson
Republican State Representative
House District 130