Rep. Kolkhorst Needs Help to Keep TMB Reform Alive

18 May – As Chairwoman of the House Public Health Committee, Rep. Lois W. Kolkhorst has demonstrated her commitment to ensuring that physicians are afforded legal due process whenever they have dealings with the Texas Medical Board (TMB). She has done a yeoman’s job in writing the provision to HB 3816 during the 2009 Legislative Session and in HB 1013 during this session, both of which provide for legal due process for physicians before the TMB.

During this legislative session Rep. Kolkhorst diligently pursued crafting HB 1013 that passed the Texas House by an incredible margin of 147-0. This is a reflection of her leadership on the Public Health Committee. 

After serious reflection, it was decided not to press HB 1013 in the Senate. Just as in the last session, Senator Jane Nelson has provided us with a vehicle, SB 190, which has passed the Senate and has been sent to the House, on to which we can easily attach the provisions of HB 1013. 

During the 2009 Legislative Session, Rep. Kolkhorst adroitly accomplished this same maneuver when she attached the provisions of HB 3816 to Sen. Nelson’s SB 2397. Unfortunately, when Voter ID was filibustered during the last session, time ran out on consideration of SB 2397. This is simply the same song, 2nd verse. 

SB 190 is in the Local and Consent Committee. In order to be amended it must be sent to the Calendars Committee and Rep. Kolkhorst has made arrangements for that to happen this Thursday, May 19th. 

Once in Calendars Committee, Rep. Todd Hunter, Chairman, a good friend and strong supporter of TMB reform, has told me that he will make sure that SB 190 is scheduled for a House vote before the deadline for senate bills to be passed by the House, which is next Tuesday, May 24th. 

Once passed by the House, SB 190 will go to a conference committee made up of 5 legislators from the House and 5 from the Senate to iron out the differences between the Senate and House versions. The conference committee version will then have to be passed by both the House and Senate before it goes to the Governor for his signature. 

Please e-mail Rep. Kolkhorst now and thank her for support and leadership on this issue. She needs to hear from you today because the Texas Medical Association is applying pressure to get her to kill this bill. You may contact Rep. Kolkhorst through her Chief of Staff, Chris Steinbach.  

Be sure that you will be notified promptly when SB 190 is set for a vote by the Texas House.

Working together, I am confident that we can achieve the goals for which we have worked so hard.

Let’s press the battle!

Sincerely yours for liberty,

Steven F. Hotze, M.D.
Texans for Patients’ Physicians’ Rights
Texans for Patients’ and Physicians’ Rights
20214 Braidwood, Suite 215
Katy, Texas 77450

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