Friday, July 24, 2009

The Legislature Has Gone Home…Now What?

The 1st Called Session of the 81st Legislature lasted less than 48 hours and legislators should not have a reason to return to the Capitol until January 2011. The American Heart Association’s Advocacy team monitored the proceedings to ensure there were not any pieces of legislation impacting heart disease and stroke. Now that the legislative sessions are behind us, it is now time to get to work on implementing the successes of the past session.

Advocacy staff is already working with the Texas Education Agency regarding the implementation of Senate Bill 891 which defines physical education in all public schools. Additionally, Advocacy staff is working with the Texas Department of State Health Services to implement and utilize the recently secured $1 million dollars for the Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke. Discussions are underway with AHA volunteers on the Council, agency staff and AHA staff on cardiovascular disease and stroke programs that may be impacted by these funds.

Both the funding and the new Physical Education definition become effective September 1, 2009 so we have our work cut out for us. As we go through the regulatory process there will be plenty of opportunity for you, our volunteers and champions, to engage these legislative and regulatory leaders. Thanks to your efforts, the American Heart Association has made significant strides to impact heart disease and stroke with these two key legislative victories.

Stay tuned for continued updates and again, thank you for making these successes possible!



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