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Rep.Israel, Celia

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Ahead of the 87th Session, Rep. Israel Files Initial Legislation in Response to COVID-19 
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by: Rep. Israel, Celia
11/10/2020

Austin - Yesterday, Rep. Celia Israel (House District 50 - Austin) filed House Bills 350, 389, 391 and HJR 23. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, these initial bills will bring Medicaid expansion to the voters, improve telecommuting opportunities for state employees, and establish safe and remote online voter registration.

Together, HB 389 and HJR 23 would bring the choice for Medicaid expansion to Texas voters. Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the nation, which has only worsened since the start of the pandemic. Expanding Medicaid would bring relief to those who are currently in the coverage gap -- many of whom are our essential workers.

"Texas is one of only 12 states that have not expanded Medicaid," Rep. Israel said. "The state's refusal to expand health care coverage has furthered the pain caused by COVID-19, all while leaving Texas tax dollars on the table."

HB 391 would provide greater ease for Texas state agencies to implement division-wide telecommuting practices. The governor's executive order to require teleworking where possible during COVID-19 has highlighted the need for flexibility in agency telecommuting, all while demystifying state employees' ability to remain hard at work while working from home.

HB 350 would allow Texans to register to vote online, a process that is more secure and efficient than our current paper-based system. The inability to register eligible Texas voters online provided significant challenges for our voter registrars to remain safe and socially distant this election year.

Contact: Taryn Feigen

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