New Year, New laws for Texans. There are several to take effect after the clock stricks over to 2020.
The new laws that were voted on during the last legislative session and here are the next installments that you’ll need to know about.
House Bill 914, changes the prize fees for bingo. In short a licensed, authorized organization no longer has to collect a payment from a person who wins a non-cash prize valued at more than $5. BUT if a person wins at least $5 CASH as a bingo prize, they must pay a fee of 5 percent of the prize amount. The licensed, authorized organization which collects the prize fee shall give 50 percent of the fees collected to the Texas Lottery Commission. Counties and cities can opt-in to receive prize fees.
Senate Bill 212, this new law requires employees at institutions of higher education whether they be private, public, or independent. To report allegations of dating violence, sexual harassment, sexual assault, or stalking made against a student or employee to the institution’s Title IX coordinator. Those failing to adhere to the new law would face a Class B misdemeanor charge — upgraded to a Class A misdemeanor if it’s found the employee intended to conceal the incident requiring such enhanced reporting standards.
Senate Bill 1264, is designed to help end surprise medical bills. Portions of the law are already in effect, but the rest will kick in on Jan 1, 2020. It will require that a “health maintenance organization pay for emergency care performed by non-network physicians or providers in an amount that the organization determines is reasonable for the emergency care.” The bill also mandates that the non-network physician or provider can’t bill the patient and that the patient has no financial responsibility for an amount higher than the patient’s responsibility under his or her health care plan. That includes an applicable copayment, coinsurance, or deductible.
Senate Bill 7, creates a flood infrastructure fund and Texas infrastructure resiliency fund the Texas Water Development Board can then use to help local governments with matching federal funds. Those funds can then be used for flood research, planning, and mitigation projects following natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey.
House Bill 4390, relates to the privacy of personal identifying information and the creation of the Texas Privacy Protection Advisory Council. It amends the Texas Business and Commerce Code. It says a person who conducts business in Texas and has computerized data that includes sensitive personal information shall disclose any breach of the system’s security to any individual whose sensitive personal information was or is thought to have been acquired by an unauthorized person. Notification of a data breach must be made within 60 days of when the business learned that the breach occurred. The business must also notify the Texas Attorney General of the breach within 60 days of learning of the breach if it involves at least 250 Texas residents.
Senate Bill 7, will create a flood infrastructure fund and Texas infrastructure resiliency fund that can be used by the Texas Water Development Board to help local governments with matching federal funds used for flood research, planning, and mitigation projects following disastrous events such as Hurricane Harvey.