- Texas is facing a healthcare crisis, and I am committed to solving the problems we face. I am working to develop and promote innovative ways to improve public health, to expand access to healthcare, and raise the quality while lowering the costs of healthcare in Texas. I have appeared by invitation to speak at numerous conferences and forums, including the Texas Association of Health Plans, the Healthier Texas Summit, the North Texas Commission, The Dallas Regional Chamber, the Texas Healthcare and Biosciences Institute, and the Axxess Healthcare Leaders Forum.
If you’d like to receive an invitation to a Town Hall in 2020, please let me know here, and we’ll be sure to send you one.
Policy Spotlight: Reverse the Surge in Youth Vaping
Each issue will include a closer look at a single issue or event, to give you a look at how the legislative process relates to what’s happening in Texas.
Teen use of e-cigarettes almost doubled in the past year. It’s an epidemic, and a dangerous one. Even if you’re skeptical about the potential dangers, perhaps we can agree that getting kids addicted to nicotine by enticing them to suck fun-flavored mist from a pipe (a/k/a “vaping”) is a bad idea.
In an important move to combat youth smoking and vaping, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 21 (which I joint-authored), increasing the legal purchase age for tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21 years. But SB 21 lacked enforcement mechanisms with respect to vaping. To fill the void, I advanced legislation to regulate vaping products more like we regulate smoking products, allowing the state to revoke sales permits from shops that illegally sell to minors. The bill had extensive bipartisan support, but an opponent killed it using a House procedural tactic. We’ll bring it back next session, only better.
It rained hard shortly before sunrise, but by race time a light wind and mist kept more than 20,000 runners and walkers just cool (okay, cold) enough to appreciate all the more the comforts – to follow later in the day – of good food, family, and indoor heating. Great thanks is owed to the amazing team of organizers who worked for months, and to the hundreds of volunteers who rose in the middle of the night and braved the weather on Thanksgiving Day, for another brilliantly executed Dallas YMCA Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot – one of the largest races in the United States.