News from state legislatures comes from New Hampshire, Iowa, Texas, Florida and Georgia.
Concord (N.H.) Monitor: House Passes Mandatory Suicide Prevention Training Along With Dozens Of Other Bills
A bill that would require New Hampshire schools to provide at least two hours of suicide prevention training for staff each year is one step closer to becoming law. The House of Representatives took up dozens of issues Wednesday and will continue its work Thursday, moving some bills to the Senate, others to committees and many to their swift demise. (Willingham and DeWitt, 2/27)
Des Moines Register: Iowa Children’s Mental Health Bill Draws Praise And Concerns
Advocates for Iowa children on Wednesday praised a new bill to set up a children’s mental health system, but they said they hope legislators add details and money to the effort. Peggy Huppert, Iowa executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, told a Senate subcommittee Wednesday that the bill does not include deadlines to accomplish its goals, including new services for children with mental illness. (Leys, 2/27)
Houston Chronicle: Surprise! Out-Of-Network Medical Bills Still Trap Texas Patients
[Khrystyna] Greene is among the thousands of Texans who, despite their best efforts to determine costs and coverage before treatment, still get slammed with surprise medical bills. For 10 years, Texas lawmakers have promised to fix the problem, passing consumer protections, creating and then tweaking a state-sponsored mediation system for disputed charges, and trying to crack down on deceptions involving insurance coverage. But, as Greene’s experience and dozens of patient bills reviewed by the Chronicle show, the surprises keep coming. Lawmakers say they will try again this year. On Thursday, state Sen. Kelly Hancock, a Fort Worth Republican, is scheduled to announce sweeping legislation to further combat surprise medical billing. “It’s time to take consumers out of this,” he said Tuesday. (Deam, 2/27)
Miami Herald: Florida Governor Endorses Patient Savings Healthcare Bill
A bill to help patients reduce their health insurance premiums by shopping for healthcare received the endorsement on Wednesday of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who said the proposal will build on the state’s efforts to make public the prices charged by hospitals and other medical providers. (Chang, 2/27)
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia Senate Votes For School Safety Initiative
Senate Bill 15 would require routine threat assessments and drills in public schools and would mandate coordination between state agencies and local authorities and schools. It also would establish a program for certifying current or former military or public safety personnel as school safety coaches. (Tagami, 2/27)
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