TAG Legislative Working Group – Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Texas Electronic Privacy Coalition: Kathy Mitchell and Greg Foster of Electronic Frontier Foundation of Austin and legal expert Scott Hansen from Texas criminal justice blog Grits for Breakfast presented their new coalition to protect electronic private property rights.  They’re currently looking for a sponsor for their bill requiring police officers to obtain a warrant before requiring a service provider (like a cell phone carrier) to provide communication data.  Currently law enforcement simply pays a fee to access any data which your phone tracks about you:  your location, your contacts, e-mail, etc.  Want to learn more?  Join them this Friday night at the Tiniest Bar in Texas, starting at 7 p.m.

 ***

Recently a San Antonio farmer was forced to dump 700 gallons of raw milk for delivering it to a drop-off point.  There are several co-authors and sponsors to a bill that would allow farmers to sell raw milk at farmers markets and drop off points.

 HB 46: allows already licensed farmers to sell raw milk at farmers markets or through delivery arrangement.

Current status:  referred to Public Health Committee

Take Action: Contact the representatives below, who are sitting on the Public Health committee. They will decide whether the bill gets scheduled to go to the House.

Garnet Coleman: 512-463-0524

Nicole Collier: 512-463-0716

Phillip Cortez: 512-463-0269

Sarah Davis: 512-463-0389

Bobby Guerra: 512-463-0578

Susan King: 512-463-0718

Lois Kolkhorst: 512-463-0600

Elliot Naishtat; 512-463-0668

J.D. Sheffield: 512-463-0628

Bill Zedler: 512-463-0374

Then, contact your state representative (who’s my rep?) and let them know where you stand. “Hi, my name is _______ and I am a constituent. I am calling to urge Representative _______ to co-author HB 46, to legalize the sale of raw milk at farmers markets and other direct-to-consumer options. Do you know where he/she stands on this bill?”

If the staffer says they don’t know the Representative’s position (which is a common response), you can say: “I would very much appreciate it if you could call me back after talking with the Representative. This issue is very important to me and my family.”

Finally, contact your state senator (who’s my state senator?) and ask him or her to support HB 46 when it comes to the Senate.

***

Lee Spiller of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) alerted us to a few bills to watch out for:

HB 245 (see bill text): any ER doctor or EMS worker can detain a patient for mental illness until a police office arrives

Current status:  referred to Public Health Committee

HB 1109: any police officer answering an emergency call shall determine if anyone at the scene is mentally ill, and has the option of writing a citation instead of taking the person into custody

Current status:  referred to Homeland Security Committee

HB 473:  Doctors prescribing anti-psychotic drugs to children under the age of 5 require state approval

Current status:  referred to Human Services Committee and heard Tuesday, February 19

HB 1058: creates complaint system for medication and medical care of children in foster care

Current status:  referred to Human Services Committee and heard Tuesday, February 19

Join us on Wednesday, February 27th at 7 p.m. for our next Legislative Working Group meeting at the Capitol, in the Legislative Reference Library, 2nd floor.