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

April 02, 2013
Contact: Megan Hanson, (512) 463-0112

LEGISLATION PROTECTING STATE HOSPITAL PATIENTS PASSES SENATE

AUSTIN —The Texas Senate voted unanimously today to pass SB 152 authored by Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound. The bill expands protections for patients at state hospitals by increasing oversight, enhancing employee training and strengthening abuse and neglect reporting requirements.

"This legislation responds to preventable tragedies at our state hospitals, and the Texas Senate spoke strongly today in support of our patients," said Senator Nelson. "Individuals arrive to our state hospitals in their most vulnerable states, and it is our responsibility to ensure they are treated with the highest level of care."

Specifically, the bill requires specialized training for state hospital employees on patient caregiving and how to recognize and report abuse; authorizes the Office of Inspector General to investigate criminal offenses at state hospitals; allows DSHS to require state hospital direct care workers to undergo federal background checks based on risk assessments; and requires professional boards to report cases of abuse, neglect or exploitation. SB 152 now moves to the 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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