From the newsletter sent April 2, 2021.
I hope this letter finds each of you well and surrounded by loved ones on this Good Friday. I’m looking forward to spending time with my family this Easter holiday after a busy week at the Texas Capitol.
As we progress further into session, we will begin spending more time on the House floor to debate, amend, and vote on bills that have been voted out of their respective committees. This week we considered and passed a number of bills, including several related to the recent power outages. Of note, HB 10 would require all ERCOT board members to reside in Texas and would create an additional board position to represent consumer interests. HB 11 requires electric transmission and generation facilities to weatherize in order to continue operations in extreme weather. HB 16 bans the type of variable rate plans that led to huge bills for some customers. While passage of these bills is a positive first step, there’s still plenty of work to be done to ensure that the power outages that occurred earlier this year never happen again.
I’m also pleased to report that one of our bills, HB 567 – the Child Trauma Reduction Act, overwhelmingly passed the House on Thursday. I’ve included a brief overview below for those interested.
We also had movement on three other bills, each of which received a hearing in its respective committee. We heard testimony on two of our bills in the Human Services Committee on Tuesday — HB 2658 and HB 3041. I’ve mentioned both of these bills before, but as a reminder HB 2658 makes several changes to improved Medicaid efficiency, while HB 3041 creates the Family Preservation Services pilot program. Meanwhile in the Public Health Committee, we had the opportunity to introduce HB 548, the Veteran Medical Licensing Act, which you can read more about below.
Hopefully, you will enjoy the extra reading material and video in this newsletter as well during this holiday weekend.
May God bless you and your family,
James B. Frank