HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — Monday marked the first day Texas Legislators could file bills for the upcoming 87th Texas Legislative Session.
Texas House District 40 Representative Terry Canales says his priority this legislative session will be focused on COVID-19.
Canales filed 14 bills in total three of them related to COVID.
House Bill 34 and House Bill 47 would help first responders and school employees, get financial assistance through Workers’ Compensation should they become infected at work.
Under current law, they have to prove they contracted COVID-19 during work, but under Canales legislation, the insurance company would have to prove otherwise.
“I believe it’s our obligation to do all we can, to ensure the protection of our law enforcement, firefighters, and EMS. This is about ensuring those that keep our community safe are themselves protected when they are impacted by this terrible virus,” says Canales.
Canales adds this legislation builds on actions taken by Governor Abbott in March, which postponed parts of the law to ensure first responders would be reimbursed for medical expenses related to the treatment of COVID-19.
Canales says the waivers are not permanent and don’t go far enough to protect school employees, first responders and their families.
“For all intensive purpose it wrecked our state, and I believe we’re going to see a lot of bills filed this session to help fine-tune efforts in the state of Texas,” says Canales
Canales also filed House Bill 89, which would help Texas shoppers at the cash register.
Consumers could take advantage of buying cleaning supplies and certain personal protective equipment like gloves and masks, tax-free.
The law would allow these items to be purchase tax-free during the state’s Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday, which takes place in late April.
During the first day more than 500 bills were filed, ranging from education to health care to criminal justice reform.
The upcoming legislative session is set to begin January 12, 2021.