As we close in on the final weeks of the 84th Legislative Session, the pace of legislation moving through the process is picking up as well. Several important bills were passed this last week that I proudly voted for.
Perhaps the most notable legislation was HB 1690 by Rep. Phil King which makes changes to the Public Integrity Unit. Public integrity offenses committed by elected or appointed officials will now be investigated by a new division of the Texas Rangers instead of the Travis County District Attorney. The cases will be tried in the official's home county as well. This will remove politics from the process and the over-concentration of power in one office.
Two significant healthcare bills were also passed. HB 2813 by Rep. Ken King requires many health insurance plans to cover ovarian cancer screenings. And HB 21 by Rep. Kyle Kacal would allow terminally ill patients to use drugs, biological products, and devices that have cleared the first phase of clinical trials. Another important bill was HB 593 by Rep. Nicole Collier which requires police officers to undergo four hours of training on canine behavior. The measure is designed to prevent the unnecessary injury or killing of dogs.
Several important bills will be heard on the house floor next week regarding taxes, economic development programs and other issues. I look forward to these debates and will vote in a way that I think is best for my district and our state.