The 81st Texas Legislature convened. Comptroller of Public Accounts Susan Combs said lawmakers will have 10.5 percent less in general revenue to spend for the 2010-11 biennium. The House elected Rep. Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) as its new speaker. The Senate wrangled over its operating rules. Then they all left town. The House won't reconvene until Thursday, while the Texas Senate is out until Monday, Jan. 26. But we’re starting to see action on our 2009 legislative agenda: Doctor’s Orders: TMA’s Prescription for a Healthy Texas. Specifically:
- Rep. Myra Crownover (R-Denton) filed legislation to eliminate smoking in all indoor public and private workplaces ― including restaurants and bars.
- UnitedHealthcare’s agreement with the American Medical Association and New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomoto shut down the controversial system it uses to determine “usual, customary, and reasonable” charges gave some great momentum to our proposal to ensure accountability for out-of-network services.