With Governor Perry completing his final action on bills from the 2013 Session we can now recap all of the accomplishments this year. It’s time to play Win, Lose or Draw…Send your personal note thanking Lawmakers for their positive work this year!Win: CPR Training in Schools. Now all Texas students will learn basic CPR before graduating from high school. With around 280,000 graduates every year think of all the new potential lifesavers pouring into our communities.Win: Newborn Heart Defect Screening. Now all newborns will receive a test for one of their leading risk factors, Congenital Heart Defects. Simple and non-invasive tools can be used to enhance the ability to catch a heart defect early on.Win: Heart and Stroke Prevention Funding. Important program funding was dedicated to stroke outreach and obesity/tobacco prevention. Lose: Smoke-Free Texas. Workers across the state lost once again when the legislature failed to advance a smoke-free workplace bill. Stay tuned for more messaging over the summer on how you can help turn this into a win for 2015.
Win: Physical Activity. AHA supported HB 1018 which requires Campus Improvement Plans include goals to increase physical activity and improve fitness among students. It will also require State Health Advisory Councils (SHACs) to establish subcommittees to make specific recommendations to school boards on strategies to increase physical activity and improve fitness among students. Win: Smoke-Free Communities. However Texas workers in Lewisville, Brownsville, and Lufkin won by passing comprehensive ordinances to protect the public from secondhand smoke. This means 280,000 more Texans are now covered!
Lose: Complete Streets. AHA supported HB 1102 which would have required the Texas Department of Transportation to adopt a complete streets policy to be implemented by communities throughout Texas. The bill was left pending in the House Transportation Committee.Draw: PE and Health Education. Thankfully, efforts to eliminate fitness testing and other PE requirements were defeated; however there was no movement on increasing PE minutes or course requirements. These were just a few of the items considered by the legislature dealing with public health. Please follow us on Twitter for more!