Hinojosa Introduces Legislation on Insurance Reform, Nutrition, Statewide Nursing Programs and Human Trafficking on the First Day of Early Filing
AUSTIN — Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa introduced a series of proposals on the first day of early filing for the 82nd Legislative Session that begins in January 2011. Senator Hinojosa's bill filings cover a broad policy spectrum, including issues related to consumer protections, health education and nutrition, and criminal justice issues.
Hinojosa included the following bills in this fall's filings:
- S.B. 147, Prior Approval - Requires the Texas Insurance Commissioner to approve increases in homeowner insurance rates prior to the rates taking effect
- S.B. 171, Posting of Calorie Content - Requires Texas chain restaurants to post calorie content for all items on the menu
- S.B. 145, Nursing Faculty Loan Reimbursement Program - Reimburses nurses who commit to teaching in Texas nursing schools for student loan expenses
- S.B. 146, Human Trafficking Prosecution Enhancements - Creates enhanced penalties for criminals who unlawfully traffic undocumented people
Commenting on the scope of this first round of filings, Hinojosa cited the growing diversity of Texas' population.
"Texas continues to grow through domestic and international migration. Businesses and families seek out Texas' climate of opportunity. In crafting this package of early filings, I focused on addressing the needs of a growing consumer base, a younger Texas population, growing demand for quality health care, and the grim reality of human trafficking. These issues are relevant to all Texans, and as we prepare for a new session, I wanted to raise their profile and get to working with stakeholders," Hinojosa said.
While the state faces a significant revenue shortfall next session because of a stagnant national economy, Hinojosa believes progress can still be made given the current conditions. State agencies began adjusting budgets to reflect the new financial reality earlier this year.
"This set of bills explores issues that impact all Texans. The point is to create and amend policies that help working families improve their quality of life. From helping Texans insure their homes to aiding nursing academics who are preparing the medical professionals of the future, these bill make an investment in the well-being of every household in Texas," Hinojosa concluded.