November 29, 2022

(Austin, TX) – Since entering the legislature, Representative Jared Patterson has made protecting first responders and their families a top priority. In preparation for the upcoming 88th Texas Legislative Session, Rep. Patterson met with stakeholders including the Frisco Fire Fighters Association, the Texas State Association of Fire Fighters, and the Texas Municipal Police Association to draft meaningful reforms to better protect those who protect us. The legislative items regarding this topic are detailed below.

First, HB 471 contains elements of bills which passed the Texas House last session but failed to gain traction in the Senate. This legislation seeks to improve workers’ compensation benefits by providing line of duty illness and injury leave policies at the local level, clarifying tobacco use as it relates to cancer diagnosis, and allowing coverage for recent post-duty heart attacks or strokes.

Second, Rep. Patterson filed HB 790 which seeks to improve the processes surrounding the Designated Doctor Examination, enhance procedures and timelines with insurance carriers, and increase access for case disputes using videoconference technology.

“Texas firefighters remain grateful for the commitment of Rep. Patterson to help ensure we can get the health care we need for cancer and other line-of-duty illnesses. HB 471 and HB 790 are important steps forward as we work to further strengthen the workers compensation system for Texas firefighters.” stated by John Riddle, President of the Texas State Association of Fire Fighters.

“The Texas Municipal Police Association, the largest Police Association in the State of Texas, not only commends, but is grateful for the commitment State Representative Patterson has for public safety.” stated by Kevin Lawrence, Executive Director of the Texas Municipal Police Association.

“For two sessions I have listened intently to first responder testimonies of the pressing issues with accessing workers’ compensation benefits and getting the timely care they need to get back to work.” Rep. Patterson stated, “This Thanksgiving, as we broke bread with first responders who couldn’t be with their own families, I renewed my commitment to fighting for them through legislative action. I hope to better serve and protect our first responders by having their backs in Austin, just as they have our backs when we are at home.”