WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The 87th Texas Legislature is set to begin on Jan. 12.
With bill prefiling beginning last week, some re-elected representatives in the area are excited to push their bills forward.
District 69 State Representative James Frank has filed a bill for military veteran physicians and nurses to get their occupational license faster.
Though he is still running for Texas Senate District 30, set for a special election runoff in December, District 68 State Representative Drew Springer has also filed a bill that would ensure first responders are covered if they contract COVID-19 while working.
Both representatives said the main focus is to support Springer’s bill that will limit the governor’s emergency powers.
With most elections recently ending and votes set to be canvassed, Texas politicians have already begun filing bills for the state’s 87th legislature.
Rep. Frank has filed a bill that will allow military veteran physicians and nurses to receive an occupational license once they retire.
“Right now, if they’re in the military, then they are qualified to perform whatever they’re licensed to in our state, but that’s not the case once they get out of the military and what we’re trying to do is expand that,” Rep. Frank said.
Rep. Springer has filed a bill to limit the governor’s emergency powers.
The bill would create an emergency powers board to oversee and even cancel executive orders that last longer than seven days.
“Shutting down wineries, businesses across the board in rural Texas and a lot of areas that were not affected, we did not think that was right and we wanted to have our voice heard on that,” Rep. Springer said.
While Rep. Frank said he will focus on bills that lower medical costs and change the guidelines for child removal in child protective services, he also says he will support Springer’s bill.
“If you add a law or add a restriction, you just added a law,” Rep. Frank said. “Nobody should be able to do that without proper checks and balances and right now we’ve essentially had that for 9 months with no checks and balances.”
Along with that bill, Rep. Springer has also filed a bill to cover first responders if they contract COVID-19.
“Unfortunately 60 law enforcement officers have died from COVID. The cities are fighting them and denying them worker’s compensation because they can’t 100 percent trace it back to work related one and we think that that’s wrong,” Rep. Springer said. “We need to protect our first responders.”
After a tumultuous year filled with unrest, Rep. Springer and Rep. Frank said they hope these bills make Texas better and move the state forward.
Rep. Springer has also filed a bill to designate the Bowie Knife as the official knife of Texas.