Springer Files Legislation to Establish COVID-19 Protections for First Responders
AUSTIN – State Senator Drew Springer (SD-30) filed Senate Bill 22, the First Responders Pandemic Care Act, with bipartisan support from 10 of his Senate colleagues. SB 22 would provide first responders who die from or suffer complications related to COVID-19 with the benefits or compensation associated with treatment costs. Senator Springer issued the following statement after filing:
SB 22 would establish a statutory presumption for first responders who die or suffer complications related to any disease that is the basis for a disaster declared by the Governor, like COVID-19. Additionally, this legislation would classify the deaths of first responders from COVID-19 as a line-of-duty death and ensure survivors receive the proper benefits that are due. Currently, many first responders who contract COVID-19 must have proof that the exposure occurred during their work duties which places an unfair burden on the first responders and their families.
Rogers Bill Would Require Officeholders, Candidates Be Current on Child Support
Being behind in court-ordered child support can have consequences on the person in arrears. Not only could you be held in criminal violation of non-support, there are 60 state licenses – including one’s driver’s license – that can be suspended. Passports can be revoked or denied. The Office of the Attorney General can file a lien on properties, bank accounts, retirement plans, life insurance plans, personal injury claims, insurance settlements or awards and other assets if a noncustodial parent fails to pay their child support. It can reported to the credit bureaus.
Now, if a bill filed by freshman State Rep. Glenn Rogers progresses, a person behind in child support will be ineligible to run for or hold public office.
Rogers’ bill in the 87th Texas Legislature is HB 2764 and seeks to amend Section 141.001(a), of the state Election Code to say an officeholder must “have paid all child support due and payable by the person unless: (A) the person has made all due payments under a payment plan; or (B) the child support due is being contested or negotiated.”
It is an interesting piece of legislation. Rogers said he is unsure whether the bill will be assigned to committee or make it to the House floor for a vote. He said he filed the legislation based on a suggestion from a person residing in the district.
Rogers said with a number of emergency pieces of legislation facing lawmakers, dealing mostly with February’s winter storm power grid failure, ERCOT and the Public Utility Commission, he is unsure how much legislation will be enacted this session. Hundreds of bills are filed every session, many of which never make it past the initial filing.
Rogers, R-Graford, represents Texas House District 60 covering eight counties, including Palo Pinto County. He was appointed to the House Pensions, Investments & Financial Services and Transportation committees.
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Aledo ISD, PCHD Partner to Vaccinate Staff
ALEDO – Aledo ISD will host one of the first school district staff vaccination sites in Parker County on Wednesday as the Parker County Hospital District will administer approximately 225 COVID-19 vaccinations to AISD staff who have requested to be vaccinated.
“We are so thankful for Parker County Judge Pat Deen, Parker County Hospital District CEO Randy Bacus and PCHD Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steven Welch for working so hard to make sure that vaccines were made easily accessible to our Aledo ISD teachers and staff as soon as the Texas Department of State Health Services expanded eligibility for school staff last week,” Aledo ISD Superintendent Dr. Susan Bohn said.
Parker County and the PCHD worked with the district to ensure teachers and staff could be vaccinated quickly and conveniently. PCHD will be set up from 4:30-8:30 p.m. in the Daniel Ninth Grade Campus gymnasiums on Wednesday, March 10, to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
“Our Board of Trustees and district administration have been advocating for teachers to be given priority following healthcare workers and first responders in the statewide administration of the COVID-19 vaccine,” Board President Hoyt Harris said. “This expedited response is just another way our teachers and staff have felt support from so many families and community members and partners.”
The district had more than 250 employees register to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Aledo Family Medicine Dr. Shaun Kretzschmar secured additional vaccinations needed to fulfill all of the requests the district received. Kretzschmar will administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccines later in the week.
The opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccine was offered to all Aledo ISD teachers and staff as well as student teachers, custodial staff and Camp Fire staff that work on Aledo ISD campuses.