Fraser Reports on Progress of Insurance Rate Regulation
Austin - The first draft of the insurance rate regulation bill, Senate Bill (SB) 14, has been delivered to Business and Commerce Committee members to review for a hearing on Tuesday. Horseshoe Bay Senator Troy Fraser told the press that he has given members a deadline of Wednesday, March 19, 2003 at two o'clock, to draft amendments to roll into the bill, which he hopes will have enough votes to pass out of committee by Thursday. When the bill reaches the full Senate, Chairman Fraser said that he hopes to have the two-thirds vote required for the bill to take immediate effect.
"We had to do the surgery to fix the problem. Once we do that, we think rates will go down," said Fraser. He expects insurance rates to decrease by twelve to fifteen percent when SB 14 takes effect and, within six months to a year, he anticipates them to continue to decrease back to the level they were at in 2001.
The Senate passed the following bills in today's session:
- SB 105, sponsored by Senator Kip Averitt of Waco, would abolish the County Court at Law of Navarro County.
- SB 146, sponsored by Wichita Falls Senator Craig Estes, would require a sex offender who changes his or her name to notify the supervising law enforcement agency.
- SB 211, sponsored by Dallas Senator John Carona, would limit public access to certain records during the course of an investigation of a licensed chiropractor. The bill passed the Senate with a vote of twenty-four ayes and seven nays.
- SB 240, also sponsored by Averitt, amends the Health and Safety Code to make it easier to offer premium assistance under the Children's Health Insurance Program.
- SB 504, sponsored by College Station Senator Steve Ogden, would authorize an emergency medical services provider to secure a lien for care and services rendered in counties with a population of 570,000 or less.
The Senate will reconvene Tuesday, March 18, 2003, at 11:00 a.m.