House Representative

Lucio III, Eddie

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 11/15/2010

Rep. Lucio Files Next Round of Legislation

AUSTIN-- State Representative Eddie Lucio III (Brownsville) today filed the next series of bills for the upcoming 82nd Legislative Session. Bills filed today include:



House Bill 283 - Addressing Wheelchair Accessibility for Playgrounds
This bill requires that at least one element of all play equipment in a new or renovated park must be accessible to children with disabilities. The bill also requires the grounds be fitted with a wheelchair accessible walkway to the play area.

“Families with disabled children have great difficulty finding a suitable recreational playground that can accommodate their special needs,” Lucio said. “Access to playgrounds are a basic courtesy and responsibility of all communities. This bill seeks to make public parks friendlier to children with special needs.”

House Bill 284 - Use of a Counselors Work Time
This bill addresses time management for counselors, ensuring that interaction with students is not impeded by administrative duties or other tasks. The bill requires a school counselor to spend no more than 10 percent of their total work time on duties that are not components of a counseling or guidance program.

House Bill 285 - Lowers Counselor-to-Student Ratio
This legislation lowers the counselor to student ratio from one counselor for every 500 students, to one for every 300.

"School counselors are essential in reducing dropout rates, improving academic performance and increasing participation in post-secondary education," Lucio said. "This legislation would, in part, provide the opportunity to better address the changing needs of our students."

House Bill 286 - Allergy & Anaphylaxis Management Plan For School Districts
This bill requires all school districts to establish a plan that coordinates management and response procedures for students with severe and life threatening allergies.

"Families with a child who has life threatening allergies shouldn't have to worry about their safety at school," said Lucio. "Establishing an allergy and anaphylaxis response plan and training will help eliminate the dangers these students face when they attend class."

House Bill 287 - Texting While Driving
This bill would prohibit the reading or sending of cell phone text messages while driving.

"Studies show that the number one source of driver distraction is the use of a cell phone," Lucio said. "Texting while driving is simply not safe for anyone on the road."

House Bill 288 - Cell Phone Usage by Bus Operators
Currently, bus operators are prohibited from using cell phones only when a minor is a passenger on the bus. This legislation would prohibit the use of a cell phone by bus drivers regardless of the age of any passenger.

"The safety of the public, whether riding on a bus or sharing the road with one, must be a priority. We must take the necessary action that will help in preventing these avoidable accidents." explained Lucio.