Thursday, May 26, 2011

House Concurs with Senate Amendments to HB 1386

The Texas House of Representatives has voted, 111 to 32, to concur with amendments made by the Senate to HB 1386. The bill instructs the Texas Department of State Health Services to develop resources designed to prevent teen suicide, including mental health counseling, crisis prevention tools and suicide prevention eduction. Schools would then have the option of implementing those programs, but would not be required to do so.

The Senate made two changes to the bill, adding licensed marriage counselors to the list of mental health professionals schools could hire and requiring parents to be informed before their children receive any kind of mental health counseling or screening.

The bill must now be signed by both the Speaker of the House and the Lieutenant Governor, a mere formality, before being sent to the Governor's desk. The Governor has 30 days to sign or veto the bill. If he does not sign the bill it becomes law without his signature. Governor Perry has not indicated his intentions regarding HB 1386 but opposition is not anticipated.

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