This session has been a learning experience for sure. These are the bills that affect or would have affected residents in long-term care that our group was following or actively advocating for/against.
SB52 - CLEARLY, this is one that we strongly supported. Representative Zaffirinit's office was even kind enough to actively engage our group and make us invited testimony before the Senate. It passed both chambers and has been sent to the governor for his signature.
HB54 - This is the Medicaid needs allowance that was originally filed to go from $60 to $85 but the Senate sent back making it $75. The House has concurred with the change but all the updates aren't online yet so I'm assuming it's good to go to the governor after the amendment reports and a clean bill is written.
HB4220 - This is the bill that our group fought so hard to defeat. The House Human Services Committee voted 5/3 in favor of it despite online and in-person opposition from families and advocates including 80 of us, AARP Texas, Disability Rights Texas and some others. So, it went to the full house where only 13 out of the 150 opposed it on second reading and 22 on the third reading. Shameful. From there it went to the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. And there it stayed. I don't know why but I'm grateful.
SB1629 was an excellnt bill that provided ownership transparency in long-term care facilities so funds could not be disguised. It also required 80 percent of medical reimbursement funds be spent on direct patient care. But the bill was a victim of the deadline for Senate bills to be heard by the House on second reading and at midnight the other night, it along with 74 other bills turned into pumpkins.
SB379 will help a little with residents who buy many of their own adult diapers, wipes and personal care items that qualify under this bill to be tax emempt! (it also covers baby items, maternity stuff) This is a nice win for families and senior adults.
HB4655 was a temporary task force to identify ways to help protect vulnerable adults but the bill died in committee.