Year 2020 shall witness slew of legislative amendments in the laws of State of Texas by the Texas Legislature. The new law is in response to the changing law and order issues that have risen in the state of Texas as well as the Judicial Rulings of the various courts in the state.
- Sexual Violence at Colleges and Universities
Senate Bill (SB) 212 mandates employees of higher education institutions whether private, public or public or independent to report accusations of sexual harassment/assault/dating violence/stalking in case of employee(s) or student(s) to Title IX coordinator in the institution. The law mentions that default in reporting such cases shall make the employee liable for Class B misdemeanor. Also, it shall be advanced as Class A misdemeanor if it was intention of the employee to conceal the incident. It further proposes to take stern action against the institutions if it discriminate adversely or attempts to silence the employee who in good faith cooperates or report the incident.
- Post-disaster taxes
Senate House (SB) Bill 492 shall permit for governor-declared disaster area temporary property tax exemption for a portion of the appraised value of certain property that was damaged by a governor-declared disaster area. But the rider with this privilege and availing the benefit is that only if local civic or governing body adopt tax exemption within sixty days once the governor has declared the disaster-affected area in the State of Texas.
- Personal data breaches
SB 4390 amends the Business and Commerce Code and sets deadline for person who does business in the State of Texas or may own computerized data holding sensitive personal data of different individuals would have sixty days to notify the person if any security breach to such system occurs. It additionally mentions that if more than 250 residents are affected by the breach of such personal data then the person shall notify the Attorney General and the recourse he adopted to handle the situation.
- Medical Bills of Patients
SB 1264 attempts to limit controversy risen due to medical bills in the event the patients’ avail medical service which are outside the choice as offered by the patients’ health plan. Such incident usually arises when during emergency the patient avail service of the doctors or laboratories not just covered under the plan but also of the medical personnel outside their health plan. With this new law in force the health facilities and medical personnel could not send the patients directly the out-of-network bill. Instead such conflict shall be resolved by alternative dispute resolution mode such as arbitration, mediation or negotiation between the health care facilities and insurance companies thereby keeping the patients outside the purview of such controversy.
These laws went into effect on January 1st,2020.
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