March 4, 2011
2011 Texas Public Policy Conference A Success!
Over 50 activists traveled to Austin this week to take action for people with MS. The 2011 Texas Public Policy Conference brought some of our most passionate activists together for three days of advocacy skills training and education about key bills before the Texas Legislature. Attendees heard speakers from The Center for Public Policy Priorities, the Austin American-Statesman and The Texas Tribune.
MS activists put their advocacy skills to the test when they took on the halls of the Capitol to raise awareness and visit with their legislators. This unstoppable group, donning orange scarves and ties, made a big impression at the Texas Legislature. They shared their personal stories and sought support for consistent prescription drug coverage and sustained funding for essential supports, like community based services, Medicaid programs, and long-term services and supports.
Activist Natalie Steadman visited with Rep. Jim Landtroop while at the Capitol. Says Natalie, “I met with my Representative and told him my personal story. He believes it is wrong for insurance companies to make changes and not follow the contract. It was a great visit and I got to connect with a Texas representative on a personal level.”
The hard work and passion that this group of activists brought to Austin has kicked our legislative program into high-gear, but we need your help to keep the momentum going. Follow our priority bills and engage your legislators; click the link below.
Senator Deuell Introduces a Resolution Honoring the National MS Society: Lone Star
A resolution honoring the National MS Society was introduced by Sen. Bob Deuell on the Senate floor on Tuesday. Senator Deuell told members of the Texas Senate.
“It is my honor to welcome members of the National MS Society here today for MS Day at the Texas Capitol. These people volunteer their time and efforts to advance policies that will help those who suffer from this unpredictable and often debilitating disease. I know personally, as my wife has had multiple sclerosis for over 25 years.”
MS activists are working closely with Sen. Deuell, who is the author of our prescription drug legislation. We are grateful that Sen. Deuell took the time to recognize the Society and our activists for their hard work! Click here to view the full text of SR 206.
Chairman Hardcastle Speaks to MS Activists in Action
Chairman Rick Hardcastle visited with activists at the conference to share his story and inspire them to speak out on behalf of the MS. Chairman Hardcastle, who was diagnosed with MS in 2003, is one of our champions in Austin. His steadfast support of our legislative agenda has been critical in raising awareness of the disease. Knowing the challenges of MS first-hand, he encouraged activists to connect with legislators by sharing their personal story.
MS Activists in Action
Click here to watch activists Howard Adams and Tracy Brinton and South Central EVP Mark Neagli testify before the House Insurance Committee in support of HB 636 by Rep. John Zerwas. This legislation will put in place a state-run health insurance exchange that will allow consumers to shop for a health insurance policy that meets their needs and budget. (Fast forward to 1:51 to see Howard, and to 2:11 to see back-to-back testimony by Tracy and Mark.)
Read all about it! Activist Howard Adams of Lubbock was featured in the Texas Tribune's coverage of Tuesday's House Insurance Committee hearing. Thank you for sharing your stories with such passion!
- View photos from our MS Day at the Capitol!
Want to join our movement at the Texas Capitol?
Contact your Government Affairs Coordinator, Linnea Nasman, at (512) 340-2711 or at email@example.com