Home > Capitol Hill
Legislative Update & Alert
February 9, 2001
Update on House Bill Watch
The Public Health Committee of the Texas House of Representatives will be considering three bills next Wednesday, February 14th.
HB 290 would ban smoking in restaurants only statewide. No study has shown that short-term exposure to second-hand smoke in the quantities found in non-smoking areas of restaurants poses a health risk. The bill would still allow smoking in bars, placing establishments serving food at a competitive disadvantage. With statewide application the bill fails to account for the impact on boarder areas, especially the Mexican border.
HB 518 would require all food service employees to be vaccinated for Hepatitis A. Exposure to Hepatitis A occurs very infrequently in restaurants (only 90 reported cases a year) yet vaccinating the 600,000 food service workers in this state would cost over $36,000,000. The Association advocates proper sanitation and food handling and a working relationship with regulatory authorities as the best defense against food borne illnesses.(See next bill)
The Association supports passage of HB 251 which would provide the state and counties with the authority to require a restaurant to have a person trained in basic food safety principals.
HB 290 ---- Author: Maxey
HB 518 ---- Author: Grusendorf
PLEASE CALL THE COMMITTEE MEMBER FROM YOUR AREA.
City Legislators Name Capitol phone number
BURLESON Arlene Wohlgemuth - (512)463-0538
Source: Texas Restaurant Assn.