Thank you for continuing to follow along through these dog days of summer. I hope each of you is getting to spend time with your families before the school year begins again. As always, you may contact my office with questions, comments, and concerns via phone (512-463-0661) or mail (P.O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768). Here is what we have been up to recently in House District 130 and Austin.
Invitation to the White House
In late June, I was humbled to receive an invitation from President Trump’s team to attend a press conference at the White House where an order was released directing the Department of Health and Human Services to start the rulemaking process to require that providers divulge the prices that patients and insurers pay. I attended the press conference and was able to discuss healthcare policy with people from around the country working on these same issues. It was an honor to be invited to this announcement by the President, and I am proud that the hard work we are doing in Texas to reform broken aspects of the healthcare system is being recognized at a national level.
Emerging Legislative Leaders Program
Earlier this year, Speaker Bonnen nominated me for the Emerging Legislative Leaders Program hosted by the University of Virginia. I applied and was accepted into the program and traveled to Virginia the week of July 8th. The Emerging Legislative Leaders Program is designed specifically for the next generation of leaders in our state legislatures. Up to 50 state legislators from across the nation take part in 4 days of challenging classroom discussions, led by a team of professors at the Darden School of Business. It was exciting and informative to hear from other state legislators about the creative solutions to real-life problems that are being developed around the country.
Later in July, I attended the National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL), an organization I have been involved with since first being elected as your State Representative. NCOIL is a legislative organization comprised principally of legislators serving on state insurance and financial institutions committees around the nation. NCOIL writes model laws on insurance topics, works to preserve the state jurisdiction over insurance and serves as an educational forum for public policy makers and interested parties. I was able to speak with legislators from around the country about our successes in the insurance domain, and learn about innovative ideas coming from other states.
Bill Signings in Austin
Last week, I was back in Austin for a handful of ceremonial bill signings with Governor Abbott. I attended a ceremony for Senate Bill 1264, landmark legislation designed to end the practice of balance billing for patients in Texas authored by myself, Senator Hancock, Senator Whitmire, and Representative Lucio. Later in the day, the Governor signed House Bill 16—a bill I joint-authored—which is commonly referred to as the Born Alive Act. HB 16 would require doctors to treat babies born alive after failed abortion attempts. I was proud to play a role in passing such meaningful legislation this session.