Tuesday, May 10, 2011

HIV Advisory Committee Bill in Senate Committee Today

As I mentioned in my Legislative Update for the Dallas Voice's Instant Tea Blog last week, HB 2229 by Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) is scheduled for a hearing today in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

The bill makes permanent the Texas HIV Medication Advisory Committee. Texas has a program that provides medication assistance to low-income HIV-positive people. The Advisory Committee is made up of people who are on the ground dealing with the day-to-day functions of the program and is designed to provide real world input. Earlier this year the committee was dissolved when Department of State Health Services Commissioner, Dr. David Lakey, failed to renew it. It has since been reformed after public outcry. Coleman's bill seeks to prevent future commissioners from doing something similar. The Senate companion to the bill, SB 1821, by Rodney Ellis (D-Houston), has been languishing in the committee since March.

The Texas HIV/AIDS Coalition has issued an urgent alert encouraging Texans to call the members of the Health and Human Services Committee:

Senator Jane Nelson: (512) 463-0112
Senator Bob Deuell: (512) 463-0102
Senator Joan Huffman: (512) 463-0117
Senator Robert Nichols: (512) 463-0103
Senator Dan Patrick: (512) 463-0107
Senator Jose R. Rodriguez: (512) 463-0129
Senator Carlos Uresti: (512) 463-0119
Senator Royce West: (512) 463-0123
Senator Judith Zaffirini: (512) 463-0121

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