Governor Abbott already has signed three of medicine’s bills into law, and he allowed a fourth to take effect without his signature. They are:
- E-cigarettes: Senate Bill 97 by Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen) and Rep. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) outlaws minors’ ability to buy e-cigarettes and similar vapor products. It prohibits students or others from using vapor products at school-related or school-sanctioned events, on or off campus. It takes effect Oct. 1.
- EpiPens: Senate Bill 66 by Senator Hinojosa and Rep. Myra Crownover (R-Denton) allows schools to stock epinephrine auto-injectors for school personnel to use on any student who suffers an anaphylactic reaction at school. It includes liability protections for physicians and health care providers. It takes effect immediately.
- Direct Primary Care: House Bill 1945 by Rep. Greg Bonnen, MD (R-Friendswood), and Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) applies to physicians and patients who contract for primary care outside of the structure, restrictions, and hassles of a health insurance plan. The bill clarifies the definition of “direct primary care” and provides important protections for physicians and patients who use this model of health care. It takes effect Sept. 1.
- ID Badges: Senate Bill 1753 by Sen. Donna Campbell, MD (R-New Braunfels), and Rep. Sarah Davis (R-West University Place) requires hospitals to spell out, in plain English, whether a person wearing a hospital ID badge is a “physician,” a “dentist,” a “therapeutic optometrist,” a “clinical nurse specialist,” etc. This bill became law without the governor’s signature.