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Rep.Johnson, Jarvis

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Representative Johnson files four Sickle Cell Disease related Bills  print page

by: Rep. Johnson, Jarvis
03/07/2019

Austin, TX- Yesterday, State Representative Jarvis Johnson (HD 139) has filed four bills that will raise awareness, create a grant program, and improve the lives of those living with sickle cell disease in Texas.

"Sickle Cell is too often a forgotten illness, that predominately affects Black and Hispanic communities. We must work to ensure those living with sickle cell are given the ability to live as pain-free as possible while they are in crisis. Awareness and research is incredibly important to continue to improve the lives of sickle cell patients. I filed these bills today with the intention of not only to bring solutions to Texans living with Sickle Cell Disease, but also to spark a conversation regarding this disease" Representative Johnson stated.

First, HB 2576 if passed will create an exemption for sickle cell patients as it pertains to prescribing and dispensing opioids. This exemption expands the current statutes that exists for cancer and hospice patients. When sickle cell patients are in crisis, the symptoms are extremely painful, this bill would allow them to benefit from pain management practices used by doctors and specialist across the state.

HB 3394 will allow the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to issue Sickle Cell Disease Awareness specialty plates, any monies after the administrative costs will go to create a program with Texas Southern University to provide grants for non-profits who provide services to persons with sickle cell disease.

HB 3405 will establish a sickle cell task force composed of state officials, physicians, a person with sickle cell, or a parent with sickle cell and a hospital representative. This task force will present recommendations to the legislature on how to raise awareness about sickle cell disease, and present policy recommendations on how to improve sickle cell disease related issues.

Lastly, HCR 117 will designate September as the official Sickle Cell Awareness month in the State of Texas.

Rep. Johnson continues "Creating meaningful legislation for the sickle cell community is one of my top priorities for the 86th legislative session."

Contact: Katelyn Caldwell

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