Senator Shapleigh has introduced Senate Bill Number 491.
assess the existing school-based mental health and substance abuse programs. This .
assessment will allow further development for programs that would include .
incorporating information regarding substance abuse prevention, mental health .
education, and access to related services that may be available. This bill was .
referred to the Texas Education Agency who is responsible for tracking the progress .
of this assessment until January 11, 2005. No hearing was held for this bill. .
However, S.B. 491 was put into effect immediately following the Senate and House .
voting sessions on May 12, 2003. The Senate passed it with 30 yeas and 0 nays. .
The House of Representatives passed this bill with 146 yeas and 0 nays with two .
members being absent for the vote. I believe that the author was trying to figure out .
the effectiveness of the programs listed above. With this assessment, the legislature .
can have a better understanding of what changes need to be made. I think this bill is .
a wise idea because mental health is very important. I would support this with no .
doubt. By dealing with the issues of mental health, society as a whole will benefit. .
Senator Shapleigh was also the author of House Bill Number 286. This bill .
would allow students to be exempted from sales tax when purchasing college .
textbooks. Some restrictions would apply to this bill. For example, the textbooks .
must be written for educational purposes and bought by full or part time students .
enrolled at an accredited college or university. In addition, the student must be able .
to provide a valid student identification card when purchasing their textbooks. No .
committees were listed for this particular bill. To my knowledge, no hearing was .
held. This bill was signed by the governor on June 20, 2003 after passing a .
two-thirds vote by the House of Representatives and the Senate. I think that .