Friday, May 27, 2011

Dollars and Sense: Heart Disease Prevention in the State Budget

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You know that heart disease is the number one killer of Texans and with just a small investment in prevention we can save countless lives and millions of dollars. Two of the main risk factors for heart disease and stroke are tobacco use and obesity. Prevention programs have proven to save dollars, and they just make sense.

Click here to tell lawmakers to consider Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention in the state budget.

In January programs that help prevent tobacco use and obesity were zeroed out in the state budget proposal for the next two years. In the latest proposal funding for those programs were partially restored at about half their current levels.

Lawmakers could vote on this proposal as soon as later today or tomorrow. We want to show our support for these programs being partially restored, but also ask that they be fully restored in future years.

P.S. Smoke-Free Texas Update: The smoke-free measure has been passed the House, but not the Senate. There is still time to urge Senators to support this measure: please click here to do so!

Thanks!
0 comments
You know that heart disease is the number one killer of Texans and with just a small investment in prevention we can save countless lives and millions of dollars. Two of the main risk factors for heart disease and stroke are tobacco use and obesity. Prevention programs have proven to save dollars, and they just make sense.


Click here to tell lawmakers to consider Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention in the state budget.

In January programs that help prevent tobacco use and obesity were zeroed out in the state budget proposal for the next two years. In the latest proposal funding for those programs were partially restored at about half their current levels.

Lawmakers could vote on this proposal as soon as later today or tomorrow. We want to show our support for these programs being partially restored, but also ask that they be fully restored in future years.

P.S. Smoke-Free Texas Update: The smoke-free measure has been passed the House, but not the Senate. There is still time to urge Senators to support this measure: please click here to do so!

Thanks!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Moving Day in the House

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5/12/2011

Today is moving day in the Texas House of Representatives meaning move your bill or go home. All House bills that don’t pass by midnight tonight will be dead in their current form. So what does that mean for issues concerning heart disease and stroke? A couple things…

1. Smoke-Free Texas: HB 670 which is the comprehensive smoke-free workplaces law is on the calendar today, about 100 bills down the list. Depending on how fast lawmakers work and pass bills ahead of it there is an outside chance of getting to HB 670 tonight. But if they run out of time, all is not lost. Smoke-Free bill author Myra Crownover has indicated she will try to amend another bill to include smoke-free bars and restaurants in Texas.

Either way lawmakers will have a chance to vote on smoke-free workaplces and we need them to vote YES. Click here to take action now.

2. PE and Health in Schools: Efforts to reduce PE and Health Standards were made in HB 400. This bill is ahead of the smoke-free legislation and will likely be heard before the midnight deadline tonight. Our message is to oppose amendments to HB 400 that will weaken PE and Health in schools. Click here to take action now.

3. Trans Fats in Schools: The bill that will remove trans-fats from school cafeterias has been passed by the Texas Senate and is now awaiting approval from a House committee. Because it has already been passed by the Senate, it doesn’t face the same midnight deadline. But the clock is still ticking and we need to move it quickly from the committee to the House floor. Click here to take action now.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

HB 400 Delayed another Day

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05/10/2011

HB 400 which is a massive public education bill has been delayed another day. Attempts have been made during debate on this bill to remove PE and Health requirements in Texas schools. It wasn’t debated yesterday, but could come up as early as this afternoon.

Please continue your calls and emails to your State Representative and tell them to vote against any amendments that would weaken PE, Health, and Nutrition standards in our school.

Click here to send and email and go here to look up your State Representative: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

See the below blog postings for more information on this issue.

Thanks!

5/11/2011 Update

Same story, different day.  HB 400 has been postponed once again.  It has now been scheduled for Thursday, May 12.  Thursday is also the deadline for this bill to pass the House floor, so we'll know something definitive by the end of Thursday.  Please continue to keep the calls and email coming in!

Brian Bowser
Grassroots Coordinator
brian.bowser@heart.org

Monday, May 9, 2011

Save PE in Texas – Call You’re State Representative

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It’s not too late to help save PE in Texas schools. Late Friday night efforts were made in the Texas House to severely reduce PE and Health requirements in Texas schools. The American Heart Association is fighting these efforts and needs help from you!


HB 400 is a large education bill dealing with many aspects of public school in Texas. During floor debate attempts were made to take out important Health and PE requirements that are currently law.

The good news is that debate was stopped on Friday night and the bad amendments were taken away. The bad news is that debate will resume today and more attempts to weaken PE will likely resume.

Please call your State Representative and tell them to vote against any amendment in HB 400 that would weaken PE, Health, or Nutrition standards. You can look up your legislator at: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

Here are some talking points.

-Please vote against any amendments in HB 400 that will reduce PE, Health, or Nutrition standards in public schools

-Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. We need to increase PE efforts right now, not reduce them

-Supporting amendments to weaken PE or Health would represent a major step backwards in our fight to reduce childhood obesity in Texas.

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You can also follow up your phone call with an email. Plesae click here to send an email to your lawmaker: http://www.yourethecure.org/composeletters_open.aspx?AlertID=20699

P.S. Please email me if you call your Lawmaker so we can track our progress.  Thanks!!

Brian.Bowser@heart.org

Sunday, May 8, 2011

PE in Texas Under Attack

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On Friday night drastic measures were taken in the Texas House that would severely weaken Physical Education and Health in Texas schools. Over the years the American Heart Association has fought hard to strengthen the quality and quantity of PE in schools. However, several measures were passed last night that would undue much of that work.

Please call your State Representative and tell him/her to vote against any proposals that would weaken PE, Health, or Nutrition requirements in public schools. Here is a direct link to look up legislators and their Austin phone numbers:

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

You can also send an email: Click here to send an email.

Background:

Lawmakers are currently debating HB 400 a large school accountability bill. This bill is being amended to weaken PE standards in schools. Here is a recap on what is happening:

1. Physical Fitness Assessments have been removed. You helped us pass the Fitness Assessment bill in 2007 which (anonymously) tracks the physical fitness of all students. An amendment was passed that removed this Assessment.

2. Coordinated School Health programs could also be eliminated. Coordinator School Health Programs help improve academic performance by combining many educational components like: PE, Health, Nutrition, Tobacco education, Counseling, and Safe School Environments into a coordinated action plan. This program is vital for improving the health, behavior, and academic success of our students.

3. Other attempts to reduce PE and Health will likely come as debate on HB 400 continues.

Please take action and tell your lawmakers to support PE and Health in schools and vote against any attempts to weaken them in HB 400. Please email me if you are able to make a  call.

Thanks for your support!

Brian Bowser
Grassroots Coordinator
brian.bowser@heart.org

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