Welcome to 2021…Adios 2020!

As our first newsletter reaches out to you, I know you share my sentiments in saying, “Bye-bye, 2020.”

We faced many challenges—personally, professionally, and as an industry—both great and small; however, with our unyielding perseverance, strong work ethic, and support of each other, we have made it through.

To be sure, 2021 will present its own challenges, but the TAA will remain right beside you. The legislative session will begin in earnest, and how it will ‘look’ is currently unclear. One of our key assets at the TAA is Bob Kellow, and he shares what we can expect to see throughout this session in a nearby article.

Across the industry, we expect continued consolidation, tough personnel issues, and challenges for reimbursement. To help you navigate these, the TAA has numerous committees which review and cover all areas of EMS. I am especially eager to receive the findings of our recently formed “Medic Retention Task Force.” This group is examining how to stem the emigration of qualified medics from the pre-hospital setting into the clinical realm, leaving us all rather short-handed. These results will be presented at our Annual Conference.

Our vendors, the very lifeline allowing us to supply and operate our companies and municipalities, share our challenges, as consolidation and the tumultuous environment have made stability an elusive goal. The TAA membership-at-large is equally eager to stability return so that business plans and budgeting can be finalized…and, dare I say, business WILL return to normal. We wanna buy stuff, and I know y’all want to sell stuff.

 

Thank you all for your continuing support. We are anxious to grow together in 2021…and, for sure, we look forward to seeing you on South Padre Island!!!!!!

 

Member Spotlight

Aaron Castro, CEO

Superior Mobile Health

TAA Board Member

Superior Mobile Health was featured in the San Antonio Express-News. Article titled “Invisible Enemies” provides details of the daily battle against two invisible enemies — the virus and burnout. Click HERE to read the full article.

 

Texas Legislative Update

Bob Kellow

TAA Legislative Policy Expert

The 87th Session of the Texas Legislature was convened at noon on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. Unlike past Sessions, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically reordered the way this Session will be conducted. The House and Senate spent the second day establishing stringent rules governing access and safety protocols for the Capitol building generally, and for member offices, hearing and overflow rooms and House and Senate chambers specifically.

 

The new rules severely limit access and attendance, while imposing rules requiring daily testing, temperature checks, mask requirements, methods of identifying COVID-negative individuals and other safety considerations. Given that while the Capitol may be technically “open,” it is still essentially locked down. Most of the staff is working from home, and private citizens wishing to view the proceedings are requested to access the Capitol’s live video broadcasts, which are also archived for future retrieval.

 

Given the impact of the pandemic and the state’s substantial budget deficit, it is anticipated that comparatively, very few bills will be introduced this Session. This is especially true of bills that carry a fiscal note that would require new spending. Insiders have suggested that the majority of the Session will be spent on the budget and redistricting. The deadline for the unrestricted filing of bills is March 12, 2021. The last day of the 87th Session is Monday, May 31, 2021.

 

Thus far, only the Senate has assigned committee members and Chairs. It’s expected that the House will soon follow suit. The bills already filed and those that will follow will then be assigned to the respective committees in the House and Senate. At the time of this writing, no bills have been introduced that threaten harm to the TAA’s membership, but sustained vigilance by your Legislative Committee is required to detect and act on any such bills or amendments. Further updates will be forthcoming.

Leave a Reply