We had a successful Legislative Session in 2013 and wanted to thank lawmakers for their positive work to reduce heart disease and stroke in Texas. On July 11 American Heart Association volunteers attended our July Lobby Day to thank our legislative champions, key committee members, and all of the YES votes on our bills. Here is a quick recap on those big wins:
HB 897 - CPR in schools: Senator Juan Hinojosa (D-McAllen)/Rep. John Zerwas (R-Simonton) – Governor Perry signed on June 14.This legislation would establish the implementation of quality school based CPR programs requiring psychomotor CPR training as part of the standard school curriculum, establishing it as a graduation requirement. Effective with the 2014-15 School Year.
HB 740 – Newborn screening for congenital heart defects: Rep. Myra Crownover (R-Denton)/Sen. Bob Deuel (R-Greenville) – Governor Perry signed on June 14. This legislation would require that all birthing facilities perform a heart defect screening on every newborn in its care prior to discharge from the birthing facility. .
SB 1 – State Budget that contained Heart Disease/Stroke Prevention Funding. Authored by Rep. Jim Pitts (R-Waxahachie) and Sen. Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands). The AHA supported efforts to appropriate $4.5 million for the Lone Star Stroke Consortium and $500K for stroke & heart attack data collection. The funds will be distributed by the Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke which is housed under the Texas Department of State Health Services. In addition an increase in funding was secured for tobacco and cessation prevention for $10 million which now totals $28 million for the biennium.