Senator Jane Nelson
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
Fax (512) 463-0923

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 21, 2013
Contact: Megan Hanson, (512) 463-0112

SENATE PASSES PATIENT SAFETY BILLS BY SENATOR NELSON

AUSTIN —The Texas Senate today passed five bills authored by Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, on the local and uncontested calendar.

Two of the bills, SB 944 and SB 945, increase patient safety at hospitals and psychiatric facilities. SB 944 requires that all non-licensed employees working in mental health units of hospitals undergo a criminal background check and bars individuals who have committed violent crimes from employment. SB 945 requires all hospital health care providers to wear badges with photo identification that clearly state their names, their departments, and their job titles to better help patients identify their caregivers and their training.

"These bills address critical patient safety issues in our hospitals and psychiatric facilities," said Senator Nelson. "We have a responsibility to ensure that anyone who walks into any Texas hospital is treated in the safest and most transparent way possible."

The Senate also passed SB 132 which clarifies that Texas school districts may not require teachers to artificially inflate a student's grade, including report card grades or other cumulative averages of a student's individual grades. Following the unanimous passage of SB 2033 in 2009, a Travis County Judge ruled that the law prohibiting minimum grade policies in schools clearly applies to all student grades. Senate Bill 132 codifies that ruling.

"As a former teacher, it is important to me that all students are graded based on merit alone and that we support our teachers giving students the grades they earn," said Senator Nelson.

These bills - which received unanimous support - now move to the Texas House of Representatives for further consideration.

SENATOR JANE NELSON represents District 12, including portions of Tarrant and Denton Counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services.

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