Capitol Update: Conservative Legislation

April 14, 2015


Dear Friends,

With less than 50 days remaining in the 84th Legislative Session, the Senate is turning out conservative legislation at a quick pace. We are pleased to share that two bills I authored, SB 9 and SB 481, are among those that passed the Senate last week.

SB 9 is the spending cap bill we mentioned to you in the last Capitol Update. It tightens the state spending limit so our government lives within its means, just like Texas families and businesses. Texans for Fiscal Responsibility has referred to this bill as “the most significant budget reform in a decade to the operations of the state.” Please encourage your State Representative to see this bill through the House as well.

SB 481 protects patients from surprise medical bills. By way of background, balance billing is common practice in the healthcare system. It occurs when doctors bill patients for the portion of medical expenses not covered by the patient’s insurance. Commonly, this happens when a facility-based physician does not have a contract with the same health insurance plans as the facility in which they practice. So, patients admitted into an “in-network” facility for a procedure or an emergency may get treated by an “out-of-network” doctor and wind up responsible for a hefty, unexpected bill.

This legislation expands the mediation process for patients caught in this balance billing situation. You can click on the image below to watch a news clip that aired when the bill passed committee. Please note that it has now passed the full Senate and is being considered by the House.

In closing, I’d like to tell you about two excellent opportunities. First, the application period for the 2015-2016 Texas Armed Services Scholarship is now open. If you know a deserving student who plans to enroll in a college or university ROTC program here in Texas during the upcoming academic year, please click here for more information about the scholarship.

Also, this Wednesday evening, April 15th, I look forward to introducing Dr. Ryan T. Anderson of The Heritage Foundation at an event at North Richland Hills Baptist Church. Dr. Anderson is the William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society, and he will present a talk on the meaning of marriage. The 7:00 PM event is free and open to the public. Additional details are available here. Please consider joining us.


Kelly Hancock
State Senator, District 9

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