TCA Fall Legislative Update
Tuesday, October 02, 2018 12:00 AM

By: Kaden Norton and Joshua Massingill, Statecraft

Halloween is almost here and soon ghosts, goblins, pirates, princesses and many other fun and frightening creatures will be knocking on your door screaming “trick or treat!” Are you prepared? Have you stopped by your local grocer to buy bags and bags of candy to satisfy the demands of your neighborhood witches and warlocks? Just as you can’t be unprepared for your trick or treaters (and be subjected to whatever “tricks” that might result), we can’t allow ourselves to be unprepared for the upcoming legislative session.

The legislative session, like Halloween, offers both exciting opportunities and some downright frightening moments, but preparation during the legislative interim is what really determines whether TCA’s in for a trick or a treat. The legislative interim might be considered boring or a time where little is being done – but that’s not the case. Because the legislature is in session for such a brief period (every other year for 140 days), much work is done during the interim, especially in the months leading up to the legislative session. Legislators and staff have been hard at work on public policy, regulators have been implementing laws passed in prior sessions, legislative committees have been conducting interim studies, and the Sunset Commission has been diligently reviewing the operations of numerous state boards and agencies.

Your leaders at TCA have been working hard in the interim too. The association’s legislative team has spent the past year developing a strategy for the upcoming legislative session. Over the past several months, TCA has been communicating with legislators and legislative staff to educate them about chiropractic, its benefits and the challenges faced by the profession. Each week, TCA monitors proposed and adopted rules from state agencies and boards to determine if and how they might impact the profession and its patients, and then provides feedback to these agencies and boards when appropriate. When a legislative committee holds an interim hearing that pertains to chiropractic, TCA’s representatives are tuned in. All of this hard work helps ensure chiropractic patients continue to have access to high-quality chiropractic care.

With the 86th Legislative Session starting on January 8, 2019, it’s important that you get involved to educate others about your profession and the benefits of chiropractic. One of the biggest challenges TCA’s legislative team faces at the Capitol is simply a lack of knowledge about chiropractic. And while we do our best to inform of your significant education, training and experience, and the many ways in which you help your patients, it’s Doctors of Chiropractic who can most effectively communicate this information. After all, who knows better than you the education and training you have? And aside from perhaps your patients, who can better communicate the healing that can be achieved through chiropractic?

As this interim between legislative sessions winds down and we approach the start of the legislative session, we’d like to encourage you to consider how you might get even more involved in TCA and how you can become a voice for your profession and your patients. Specifically, you could meet with your local representative or senator and share your experiences with them. We’ve found that Texas’ elected officials welcome the opportunity to meet with their constituents. Once the legislative session begins, you could also consider coming to the Capitol to visit with your legislator and their staff to educate them about issues facing chiropractic.

Finally, we’d like to encourage you to mark your calendars for TCA Legislative Day on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2019, and the Texas Chiropractic Legislative Conference on February 15-16, 2019, in Austin. This will be a great opportunity to network with fellow professionals from around the state and visit the Capitol and meet with legislators and their staffs. TCLC 2017 was an incredible success that paved the way toward significant legislative victories in the last legislative session. With your help, we will accomplish even more in 2019!

We’re honored to be a part of TCA’s legislative team and we look forward to the upcoming legislative session.