P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 12, 1996
AUSTIN - State Senator Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) today filed a package of bills representing her legislative priorities for the 75th Session of the Texas Legislature which begins in January. Today was the first day on which bills could be filed.
Nelson's major legislative proposals are in line with the conservative reform agenda she has championed in her two previous legislative sessions.
One of Senator Nelson's top priorities is enacting the citizen lawmaking process known as Initiative & Referendum (I&R). Initiative allows the people to put new laws on the ballot by petition. Referendum is a similar process allowing the people to repeal laws already passed.Nelson chairs the Senate Interim Committee on I&R which has recommended its passage by the Legislature. "I&R gives citizens the power to keep their government limited and accountable," Nelson said.
Nelson also wants to get tough on violent criminals by abolishing parole and enacting lifetime sentences for sex offenders. The Senator's parole bill would eliminate parole for violent criminals classified as "3g offenders". 3g offenses include murder, rape, assault, child molesting, robbery, arson, and kidnapping. Nelson's plan includes provisions for making more efficient use of prison space to house criminals longer. Her sex offender life sentence would impose a mandatory life sentence without parole on the second sexual offense.
Senor Nelson is proposing to dedicate lottery revenue to education. "Texas voters were led to believe that lottery profits would be dedicated to education. That currently is not the case," Nelson commented.
A member of the Senate Interim Committee on Managed Care, Senator Nelson has proposed several reforms to improve patient protection standards. Nelson wants to require that HMOs allow a 48-hour hospital stay and adequate follow-up care for new mothers and newborns. She proposes that women should have direct access to their OB/GYNs without having to go through a primary care physician. Nelson also wants an "no gag rule" provision to allow doctors to speak freely to patients about managed care plans without fear of retaliation.
Nelson has several bills to ensure improve efficiency and accountability in Texas state government. Noting that the so-called "Super Tuesday" primary date has been unsuccessful, Nelson is calling for a return to May primary elections. She proposes to shorten the early voting period before elections to save money since most voters wait until the last week of the current three week period. Nelson re-introduced a proposal for term limits and wants to end the practice of members of the Legislature who are lawyers representing clients before state boards and commissions.
Senator Nelson reiterated her call to get tougher on drunk driving, especially among teenagers. She re-introduced her zero tolerance plan for drunk driving by underage drivers.
Nelson also filed a plan which grants incentives for small businesses to adopt Drug Free Workplace policies.
"These proposals have been well-researched during the interim since the 74th Session," Nelson said. "I am confident that we can pass many conservative reforms in this Legislature which will reflect what my constituents and most Texans want."