This legislative session is moving slowly due to COVID precautions and the restrictions on meeting in groups. These restrictions make it even more important for nurses to support legislation related to nursing and health care by responding to alerts by text, email, or mail. The Texas Nurses Association website at https://search.myway.com/search/GGmain.jhtml?p2=%5EUX%5E%5E%5E&n=&ln=en&si=&tpr=hpsb&trs=mv3&brwsid=43B40866-F64A-4023-9961-3649179FE8A3&o=1468618&searchfor=Texas+nurses+association&st=tab provides the Nursing Legislative Agenda and resources for you to use in contacting your legislators and supporting bills related to nursing and health care. TNA leads and provides secretarial support for the coalition (NLAC) of which HCONS is a member.
Under Legislative Resources you will find information on the legislative process and the standing committees for the Senate and the House of Representatives.
2021 Texas Legislative Process
2021 Key Senate-House Committees
Under Spotlight, you will see the list of bills that NLAC supports and those that the group opposes. The description provided includes the general focus of the bill, the House and Senate sponsors, and a one-pager of talking points. One example is the COVID bill for nurses making them eligible for workers' compensation benefits for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and payment of those benefits.
HB 396 - Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso) / SB 433 - Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) and SB 439 - César J. Blanco (D-El Paso)
Would create a legal presumption that, if a nurse contracts COVID, it was contracted during the course of employment.
HB 396 - Substitute passed House Business & Industry Committee, 4/14/21. It was sent to the Calendars Committee, 4/20/21.
Both companion bills SB 433 and SB 439 were referred to Senate Business & Commerce Committee, 3/9/21.
HB 396 1-pager
You can participate in the process and support the NLAC agenda and other bills that the coalition is following by registering for alerts on the Texas Nurses Association website. Under Policy, Click on the Nurse Action Center and then register in the box labeled Sign Up for Alerts. You can support bills by entering your name and address. Entering your address allows the system to select your legislators. A text will be sent with the talking points for the bill to your respective legislators. The bills in the NLAC agenda are the bills you may be asked to support in alerts from the Action Center.
Oncology Nursing Society
At the national level, ONS has resources and opportunities for nurses to be involved in advocacy. On the webpage, select Make a Difference and click on ONS Center for Advocacy and Health Policy. Policy Priorities, Position Statements, and Advocacy Webinars and Podcasts are listed for your use. You can join the national Capitol Gang to participate in national events, find your legislators under Make Your Voice Heard, and read Alec Stone’s updates under Latest ONS Voice Advocacy News. To get started, you can enroll in the ONS free seminar: Advocacy 101: Making a Difference and earn 4.7 contact hours.