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Sen. Zaffirini pre-files 44 bills

Staff Report

AUSTIN — Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) has pre-filed 44 bills for the 88th Texas Legislative Session.

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Sen. Judith Zaffirini

On Nov. 14, Zaffirini was first in line to pre-file bills that she said are consistent with her longstanding priorities of education and healthcare. 

Senate Bill (SB) 39 and Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 6 would expand Medicaid services to individuals at or below 138% of the federal poverty level. She also filed SB 51, which would improve accessibility to high-quality hearing aids, and SB 52, which would ensure caregivers can visit family members at state hospitals. 

Additionally, SB 47 would increase the availability of mental health counselors, social workers and marriage and family therapists, and SB 62 would direct the Texas Health and Human Services and the Veterans commissions to promote a guide regarding caring for veterans with mental illnesses. 

“Healthcare, including mental healthcare, is a right — not a privilege. We must do more to make this basic care affordable and accessible for all Texans,” Zaffirini said. 

Zaffirini also pre-filed multiple education bills. SBs 34 and 35 would establish tuition-free colleges and universities for students with household incomes less than $100,000, and SB 36 would reinstate her B-on-Time Student Loan Program, which offered zero-interest loans that could be forgiven for students who earned their degrees timely and with a GPA of at least 3.0. 

“Higher education is the key to success,” Zaffirni said. “The future of our state will be brighter if leaders of tomorrow earn their degrees today.” 

Additionally, SB 38 would establish universal pre-kindergarten by extending current eligibility to three-year-olds and for teachers, SB 33 would provide a one-time, 10% cost-of-living adjustment with subsequent annual increases based on inflation. 

Other bills pre-filed by Zaffirini include five to reform the state’s open government laws, bills to address gun violence and the power grid and more bills focused on safety and transparency. A full list can be found on the Texas Senate website at www.senate.texas.gov. 

“I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues to address a myriad of issues and build a safer, more prosperous and more equitable Texas,” Zaffirini said. 

Zaffirini and her staff invite constituents to share advice, feedback and suggestions, and can be contacted at (512) 463-0121. The 88th Session will convene Jan. 10.

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