Submitted by Ken Paxton, State Senator
As we head into the last few days of the 83rd legislative session, here is a look at a few of the Senate Bills I authored and House Bills I sponsored in the Senate that are on their way to the Governor:
SB 1221 will ensure that health care providers are notified and have the opportunity to consent to insurance companies intentions to pay Medicaid-level rates for medical services provided under a commercial health insurance plan. This legislation will promote provider participation in the Texas health care market and help to keep free-market principles in place as the full effects of Obamacare begin to take shape.
SB 866 will promote local government efficiency in technology. This legislation will allow local governments to participate in statewide technology centers which will cut down processing time and allow for collaboration.
SB 637 will provide taxpayers additional information about bond election proposals prior to the election. The additional transparency information will include the purpose of the bond election, the total amount of outstanding bond obligations and interest the local government currently has, and the estimated property tax rate required to pay off the debt on the bonds.
SB 1437 will allow county clerks to receive documents electronically from municipal clerks and, in large counties like Collin and Dallas Counties, from the appropriate clerk in any political subdivisions. A county clerk is required to archive documents for the county and state, but only select entities can send their files electronically while the rest have to send paper copies. By allowing county clerks to receive documents electronically from political subdivisions, local governments will save money in printing and mailing costs.
HB 148 will protect election integrity and prohibit compensation for voter harvesting. This legislation will create criminal penalties for those convicted of compensating someone based on the number of votes they obtain and submit in an election. Creating these penalties will help reduce voter fraud.
HB 899 will protect the privacy of victims and victims’ families in the criminal justice system. This legislation will provide a victim, guardians of a victim, and close relatives of a deceased victim rights to information pertaining to the victim in the criminal justice system.
HB 259 will further protect first amendment rights to free speech in electioneering. Some cities have passed local ordinances to regulate the placement of election materials and this legislation will allow for electioneering at polling locations on public property outside the 100 foot distance marker.
HB 2824 further enables the high performing school consortium to find efficiencies in the governance of their school districts and create model best practices. This legislation allows these high performing school districts to show examples and recommendations for innovations, flexibilities, and next-generation learning examples.
As we go into the final weekend stretch of 83rd legislative session, I will continue to stand for the conservative values represented by the voters in District 8.
Texas State Senator Ken Paxton is from McKinney.