TCA Winter Legislative Update
Written by Kaden Norton and Joshua Massingill, StateCraft   
Friday, January 04, 2019 10:43 AM

By: Kaden Norton and Joshua Massingill, StateCraft

The turning of the calendar from 2018 to 2019 means Texas’ 86th Legislative Session is nearly here! Next week, legislators from across the state will descend upon Austin to address the issues facing Texas and Texans. Just as the New Year brings a sense of hope and opportunity for each of us, so too does the upcoming session for Texas chiropractors.  

Texas’ 86th Legislative Session begins on January 8 and continues for 140 days until May 27. In the Texas House of Representatives, the members’ first action will be to elect a new Speaker (due to past-Speaker Joe Straus’ retirement). Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) has secured the necessary votes to become the next Speaker. During the first few weeks of the session, the newly-elected Speaker and the Lieutenant Governor will appoint representatives and senators, respectively, to various committees on topics such as transportation, education, criminal justice and healthcare. Once these committee assignments are made, legislative committees will begin holding hearings to consider legislation. To reach the Governor’s desk, a bill must win the approval of both a House and Senate committee and then receive a favorable vote from the full House and Senate. Historically, only 20-25% of filed bills survive the lengthy and difficult process to become law. 

TCA’s leadership has been hard at work over the past year preparing for the legislative session. In addition to examining every piece of filed legislation to defend against attacks that diminish chiropractic scope, damage the profession, or reduce patient access to chiropractic care, TCA will promote bills that:

  • Include the neuromusculoskeletal system within chiropractic scope
  • Protect chiropractors’ ability to provide acupuncture services as a modality of chiropractic
  • Prevent unfair discrimination against doctors of chiropractic by health insurers
  • Ensure fair post-payment insurance audits and recoupments
  • Require the Texas Combative Sports Advisory Board to include a chiropractor
  • Ensure injured workers are informed of their right to seek treatment from a doctor of chiropractic when injured on the job
  • Decrease over-prescription of opioids for acute pain 

With the legislative session here, now is the time for the profession to step up and get involved (if you haven’t already). Until the final gavel falls on May 27, the Texas Legislature will consider and pass legislation that could have a significant impact on you, your practice and your patients. While TCA’s leadership team is doing its best to protect and advance chiropractic, more doctor involvement in the legislative process increases the likelihood this session will be a successful one. The easiest (and probably most fun) way to get involved is to “Show Your Love for Chiropractic” by attending TCA Legislative Day on Valentine’s Day, Thursday, February 14, in Austin. Register online and be included on office visits with your state legislators. Want to get even more engaged? Join us at the Texas Chiropractic Legislative Conference (TCLC) on Friday, February 15, and Saturday, February 16, at the Sheraton Austin at The Capitol.

As always, we’re honored to be a part of TCA’s legislative team and we look forward to working on your behalf during the 86th Texas Legislative Session.