Now that the Texas Legislature has had a few months off and will more than likely not return until the 82nd Legislature in 2011, lawmakers will be receiving their homework assignments or “interim charges” over the next few months. This is a critical time for lawmakers, staff, regulatory players, and stakeholders to develop policy initiatives, study them, and provide reports and recommendations for the 82nd Legislature to consider.
The American Heart Association Advocacy team has been meeting with key offices and providing input on issues related to obesity, stroke, health disparities, and tobacco as interim charges are considered in both the House and the Senate. This means committee hearings will gear up soon and our volunteers will be testifying and meeting with lawmakers. Additionally, our grassroots network will be using this opportunity educate staff and lawmakers about our public health policies on these issues. Once these committees have the chance to discuss the various public health issues their committees will vote on recommendations to submit to the 82nd Legislature which will then turn in bills, budget request, and regulatory recommendation that our Advocacy staff will constantly monitor.
Stay tuned as alerts will begin in the next few weeks to lay the ground work for the 82nd Legislature.