Senate Passes Legislation Intended to Remove Bad Physicians
Austin - Senate Bill (SB) 104, passed by the Senate today, should send the important message that Texas is serious about removing bad physicians, said Senator Jane Nelson of Flower Mound following today's session. According to the bill's sponsor, SB 104 grants more authority to the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners by providing the financial resources and the statutory authority to quickly and strictly disciple physicians who should not be practicing medicine.
"We need to protect the health and well-being of our citizens," said Nelson of SB 104. The bill, along with eighteen approved amendments, passed with all thirty-one Senators in accord. Nelson claims that SB 104 will lay the groundwork for the medical liability reform that Texas needs.
At a Capitol press conference today, Houston Senator Rodney Ellis and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced the filing of a legislative package concerning corporate integrity. According to Abbott, the proposed bills would help to protect the pocketbooks of Texans, ensure corporate responsibility, and hold corporate wrongdoers accountable.
The three bill included in Ellis' corporate integrity legislation are:
- SB 1059, which would create a Corporate Integrity Office within the Attorney General's office to assist district and county attorneys in investigating and prosecuting corporate fraud. The bill would also require a company contracting with the state to report any financial irregularities relating to the contract or the company's financial positions, such as embezzlement, fraud, and falsification of records and would require an annual audit and report on the use of state funds.
- SB 1060 would punish unlicensed investment advisors who offer, sell, or purchase securities. It would also provide monetary relief for persons victimized by prohibited conduct by security firms.
- SB 141 would allow information sharing among certain agencies related to corporate fraud investigations.
Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst spoke today on the progress the Senate has made in balancing the budget. Dewhurst said that the seven percent reduction he had asked agencies to make has resulted in $1.25 billion in savings. He listed several sources of non-tax revenues as options to fill the gap and announced that he will be meeting with Senators from the Finance Committee today to discuss these.
The Senate will reconvene Tuesday, March 11, 2003, at 11:00 a.m
Session video and all other webcast recordings can be accessed from the Senate website's audio and video archive pages.