This week, I authored and filed bills relating to healthcare, public education, higher education, LGBTQ equality, and flood prevention. I also partnered with Representative John Zerwas (R-Richmond) on the enabling legislation for the University of Houston College of Medicine. Please see below for a brief description of these bills.
HB 565 – Relating to healthcare coverage in this state.
HB 993 – Relating to notice to a prospective residential tenant regarding a dwelling that is located in a floodplain or that has been damaged by flooding.
This bill would require landlords to give their residential tenants notice if there is flood risk in the building that they are renting. This is a common sense bill because this information is already required to be disclosed when purchasing a house. This bill would expand that disclosure to protect individuals who rent instead of purchasing a home.
Additionally, this bill is needed because many renters in Houston were not aware that their homes were built in areas at risk for flooding until Hurricane Harvey hit. This bill will give renters the necessary knowledge to help them take proper precautions in protecting themselves, and their homes.
HB 1511– Relating to required coverage for eating disorders under group health benefit plans.
HB 1512 – Relating to the repeal of the criminal offense of homosexual conduct.
HB 1513 – Relating to a criminal offense committed against a person because of bias or prejudice on the basis of gender identity or expression.
HB 1517 – Relating to a notification requirement if a public school, including an open-enrollment charter school, does not have a nurse assigned to the school during all instructional hours.
HB 1518 – Relating to the regulation of the sale of dextromethorphan to minors; providing civil penalties.
HB 826 – Relating to the creation of the University of Houston College of Medicine at the University of Houston.
Representative John Zerwas (R-Richmond) and I have jointly authored HB 826 to create the University of Houston College of Medicine.
In 2015, I added a rider to the 2015 state budget that got the ball rolling for the University of Houston College of Medicine (UH CoM). In 2017, Representative Armando Walle (D-Houston) joined my effort and we kept the momentum going by adding another rider to the state budget. This session, Representative Zerwas and I have filed HB 826 to officially create the UH CoM under Texas law.
The need for another medical school in Texas is clear and the University of Houston is the right institution to deliver. The Houston area has grown by nearly 4 million people since the last medical school was established in 1972, and Texas is projected to need another 6,260 primary care physicians by 2030. The UH CoM will be able to integrate with the University’s existing health and health related professions, colleges, and programs.
Additionally, the UH CoM will lift the research capabilities of many of the existing research centers and actives already occurring at the University of Houston.
Finally, the University of Houston has the financial backing to make the College of Medicine a success. The University has already raised $31 million to support the College of Medicine. Additionally, the start-up cost associated with the College will be small compared to other schools because the University of Houston will be able to utilize existing health sciences administrative functions and leverage their existing academic resources.
Last week, I was honored at a reception in Austin to raise funds for the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work (UH GCSW) students participating in our Austin Legislative Internship Program. We also had the great pleasure of honoring Senator John Whitmire for all his support.
Thank you, Honorable Elliott Naishtat, Representative Jessica Farrar (D-Houston), Senator Carol Alvarado (D-Houston), Representative Ana Hernandez (D-Houston),Senator Borris Miles (D-Houston), Representative Armando Walle (D-Houston), Representative Chris Turner (D-Arlington), Representative Gene Wu (D-Houston), Representative Vikki Goodwin (D-Austin) for attending. Thank you, Dr. Suzanne Pritzker for your leadership of this program. I would also like to thank my former staffer and UH alum Katharine Ligon for chairing the event and Januari Leo for planning and organizing.
Representative Coleman’s award.
Dr. Suzanne Pritzker (far left) and Executive Director of the Legislative Study Group Raul Lopez (far right) with UH GCSW students participating in the 2019 Austin Legislative Internship Program: Marissa Gorena, Merci Mohagheghi, Brittany Sharp, Elizabeth Churaman, Sophia Creede, Donisha Cotlone, Ali Schoon, Eli Davis, Sharon Jacob, and Santiago Cirnigliaro.
Dean Alan Dettlaff welcomes attendees.
Please Join Us:
HBO’s Traffic Stop Documentary Screenings
in Houston and Austin
Austin Justice Coalition, Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, University of Texas Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis, Community Advocacy & Healing Project, Links Inc. Town Lake Chapter, Third Ward Community Cloth, Beta Psi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, & Houston Black Lives Matter.
(at the time of this email)
TUESDAY, FEB. 19th | DOORS AT 5:30
The first screening will be held in the Texas Capitol in Austin on Tuesday, February 19th. Doors will open at 5:30pm and the screening will begin at 6:00pm, followed by the panel and an opportunity for a Q & A session.
FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 20th | DOORS AT 6:30
From the Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning team of director Kate Davis and producer David Heilbroner (HBO’s The Newburgh Sting, Southern Comfort and Jockey) and nominated for an Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject, Traffic Stop illuminates timely, resonant issues of race and law enforcement while offering an intimate portrait of one woman in the wake of her traumatic arrest.
On June 15, 2015, a car driven by vibrant, 26-year-old African-American schoolteacher Breaion King was pursued by a police officer in Austin, Texas. As seen on the patrol car’s dash cam, Officer Bryan Richter closed in on King’s car over the course of several blocks, and eventually caught up with her in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant, where she exited her car.
Ordered to return to her vehicle, the 108-pound King soon found herself in a brutal struggle with Officer Richter, who was eventually joined at the scene by two other police officers, as dash cams and interior cameras recorded the events that followed. En route to the county jail, handcuffed in the back seat of a backup police officer’s squad car, King engaged the officer in a surprisingly candid conversation about race.
Traffic Stop juxtaposes raw footage of King’s arrest and conversation with scenes from her everyday routine, offering a vivid portrait of a woman whose life is forever changed one afternoon by a sudden encounter with law enforcement.”
What To Watch This Week:
Cartoon of the Week
Song of the Week