Thursday, March 19, 2009

SB 188 heads to the House, Chairman Coleman's HB 3707 referred to Public Health

This morning Senator Deuell's disease control bill, SB 188, was considered on third reading and passed out of the Senate with 23 yeas and 6 nays. Now the bill will head to the House to join its companion bills in the Public Health Committee.

Before it passed out of the Senate, SB 188 picked up two more co-authors, Senators Hinojosa and West. Thank you Senators!

Last week Representative Garnet Coleman, Chair of the House Committee on County Affairs, filed HB 3707 relating to county-regulated disease control programs to reduce the risk of certain communicable diseases for certain counties. Thank you Chairman Coleman! Earlier today HB 3707 received its first reading in the house and was then referred to the Public Health Committee. Representative Ortiz, author of HB 272, is a joint author of the bill.

HB 3707 is very similar to the other disease control bills filed this session (SB 188, HB 142, & HB 272), with the main difference being that it would limit the counties that are eligible to establish programs to those with a population of more than 730,000. The legislation allows the county commissioner's courts in the six largest counties in Texas to approve the establishment of a syringe exchange program, and provides for a defense to prosecution for individuals participating in the programs.

To learn more about the benefits of syringe exchange programs please visit

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