Good Bills

GOOD BILLS 2016

LIFE

HB 1/SB 602: Requiring Abortionist Doctors to Have Hospital Admitting Privileges aka “Physician Admitting Privileges”
[Sponsors: Rep. Hill (R)/Sen. Stargel (R)]  (Senate Equivalent: SB 602(Similar))

This bill would require a physician performing or inducing an abortion to maintain hospital admitting privileges at a local hospital within 30 miles of where the abortion is performed, as a continuum of care plan in case of complications threatening the mother’s health.  Effective: July 1, 2016.

HB 233: Relating to Abortion Clinics
[Sponsor(s): Rep. Trujillo (R)] (Senate Equivalent: NONE)

Requires that abortion clinic facilities abide by the same safety and accessibility requirements as hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and mobile surgical facilities. Certain building code requirements would apply when constructing clinics. Effective: July 1, 2016.

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

HB 401: Relating to Protection of Religious Freedom
[Sponsor: Rep. Gonzalez (R)] (Senate Equivalent: NONE)

This bill provides legal protections for health care facilities and providers; individuals; small businesses; religious institutions; businesses owned or operated by religious institutions; and private child-placing agencies; who, because of their sincerely-held religious beliefs, refuse to perform certain actions that would force them to violate these beliefs.

The actions protected by this bill are defined as actions that are contrary to religious or moral beliefs AND one of the following: administering, recommending, or delivering medical treatments or procedures; producing, creating, or delivering products or services; or performing, assisting, recommending, consenting to, or participating in placing children in homes. Effective: July 1, 2016.

HB 43/SB 110: Relating to Churches or Religious Organizations aka “Pastor Protection Act”
[Sponsors: Rep. Plakon (R)/Sen. Bean (R)] (Senate Equivalent: SB 110 (Identical))

Provides that churches or religious organizations, related organizations, or certain individuals may not be required to solemnize any marriage or provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for related purposes if such action would violate sincerely held religious belief; prohibits certain legal actions, penalties, or governmental sanctions against such individuals or entities. Effective: July 1, 2016.

ISRAEL

SB 86/HB 527: Relating to Scrutinized Companies
[Sponsors: Sen. Negron (R)/ Rep. Workman (R)] (House Equivalent: HB 527 (Similar))

Prohibits state and local government entities from investing in or awarding contracts to companies that boycott Israel. Exceptions provided.

Requires State Board of Administration (SBA) to create “Scrutinized Companies that Boycott Israel List” and update it quarterly. Companies listed would be notified and provided 90 days to clarify their position regarding Israel. Effective: Except as otherwise expressly provided in this act, this act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

EDUCATION

HB 835/SB 1522: Relating to Education
[Sponsors: Rep. Eisenaugle (R)/Sen. Stargel (R)] (Senate Equivalent: SB 1522 (Similar))

Clarifies that homeschooling is not a school district program; requires testing to be available for homeschool students—not optional for district; expands access to special needs assistance for homeschool students; expands access for homeschool students to career/technical training course offerings of school district; school district to notify of dates/times/types of national/end year/certification/other assessments available to homeschool students; annual textbook reimbursement for homeschool students (small refund). In addition, the bill states a high school grade point average may not be required for home education students who meet the minimum score on a common placement test adopted by the State Board of Education which indicates that the student is ready for college-level coursework.

The bill prohibits a school district from further regulating, exercising control over, or requiring documentation from parents of home education program students beyond the requirements of this section unless the regulation, control, or documentation is necessary for participation in a school district program. Effective: July 1, 2016.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING

HB 545/SB 784: Relating to Human Trafficking
[Sponsors: Rep. Spano (R)/Sen. Flores (R)] (Senate Equivalent: SB 784 (Compare))

Increases the trafficking of any person (not just kids under 18) to be a first degree felony; even if victim is an unauthorized alien; including if they were transported from outside to within the state; adds noncommercial sexual offense against mentally disabled victims and child victims under 18 as a life felony—not just commercial crimes; healthcare practitioners and massage establishments in violation commit 3rd degree felony. Includes faith-based providers in optional education programs judges can assign offenders to attend regarding sexual violence and prostitution.