P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 13, 2000
AUSTIN -- State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, today pre-filed 24 bills for the upcoming legislative session, including legislation to give patients control over who has access to their medical records; a package of five bills to curb family violence in Texas; a proposed ban on human cloning; and the Senate companions to a proposed expansion of the open container law.
At a Capitol news conference this morning, she unveiled the Medical Privacy Act of 2001 (SB 11). This legislation will ensure that our medical records, including our prescription drug records, are not released without a patient's express permission. The press conference can be viewed via the Internet at www.senate.state.tx.us by clicking on the live audio/video feature.
"Our Senate Health Committee spent the past year investigating the flow of our medical information, as well as studying our patchwork of laws to address privacy. The gaps in the law are numerous, so numerous in fact that if your doctor writes you a prescription, there is no guarantee that your employer won't find out about it. How would you like your boss to know that you are taking anti-depressants?," Senator Nelson, who chairs the Health Committee, said.
Senator Nelson's other pre-filed legislation includes:
- SB 12: Outlaws discrimination in the work place based on medical information.
- SB 13: Prevents denial of health insurance based on genetic test results.
- SB 14: Requires that anyone convicted of a domestic assault that results in serious bodily injury serves at least half of the prison sentence.
- SB 15: Provides an exception under the Public Information Act to keep confidential certain information maintained by women's shelters and sexual assault programs.
- SB 16: Removes "anger, rage, resentment" as adequate causes for a sudden passion defense in the punishment phase of a murder trial.
- SB 17: Requires judges to notify prosecutors when considering a bail reduction.
- SB 18: creates a criminal offense for interfering with emergency communication devices, the intent being to punish those who cut phone lines to prevent 9-1-1 calls.
- SB 19: Forms a coordinated health program in public schools to prevent obesity, which has become an increasingly serious public health issue among our children.
- SB 89: Expands the open container law to cover both drivers and passengers; mandates an automatic license suspension on the second DWI conviction, bringing Texas in line with the national standard that is tied millions of federal highway construction funding.
- SB 90 & SB 91: To make the above bill more difficult to fall prey to technical maneuvers, Senator Nelson filed two sub-bills that accomplish the same goal. SB 90 includes the repeat DWI provisions. SB 91 covers the open container law.
- SB 92: Gives emergency room workers the right to report DWI evidence to police.
- SB 93: Creates a blueprint for the implementation of telemedicine services in Texas.
- SB 94: Directs DHS and local health agencies to create a bioterrorism disaster mitigation plan.
- SB 95: Establishes criminal penalties for the possession, manufacture, transport or sale of deadly microbes such as anthrax that could be used for a bioterrorist attack.
- SB 96: Allows medical research firms to sell their unused research & development tax credits.
- SB 97: Prevents health insurers from requiring hospitals to employ a hospitalist as part of any contract agreement.
- SB 98: Establishes procedures for the use of automated pharmacists.
- SB 99: Streamlines the process by which medical procedures are approved by managed care companies.
- SB 100: Authorizes HHSC to study the feasibility to limit the number of managed care companies operating within a certain are.
- SB 101: Authorizes HHSC to study the issue of co-payments in Medicaid managed care.
- SB 102: Bans human cloning in Texas, creates civil penalties and subjects licenses to suspension.
- SB 103: Adds homes and places of assembly to the arson penalty that currently covers places of worship.