Bill to help injured first responders headed to Texas Governor’s desk

By: Presley Fowler

AUSTIN, TX (KCBD) – A bill authored by District 83 Representative Dustin Burrows will now head to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk.

House Bill 2082 aims to help injured law enforcement officers as they attempt to file for worker’s compensation.

We’ve been following this bill as it has made its way through committee and ultimately, passed through both the Texas House and Senate late Wednesday night.

Representative Dustin Burrows posted a message on Facebook Thursday night, saying he is proud to be an advocate for our state’s first responders.

House Bill 2082 creates a “law enforcement liaison” within the Texas Department of Worker’s Compensation Agency to help injured first responders as they navigate the sometimes complicated process to recovery.

“If an officer is having trouble finding a doctor, having trouble with worker’s comp paying for their medical bills, having trouble with appointments – for instance, a lot of this is therapy, so that they can get back to work. This liaison will help tremendously,” said Mary Duncan, an advocate for peace officers in Lubbock and President of the Crime Victim Coalition.

Duncan is also the wife of an officer who was injured in the late ’70s.

Through this process, she and other area injured officers and family members met many times with Representative Burrows to discuss the issues, also working with Representative John Frullo and Senator Charles Perry.

Mary and her husband were among those who traveled to Austin in April to testify for the committee.

This group included medically retired LPD officer Jacob Flores, along with Jessica Scherlen, the wife of Amarillo Police Officer Justin Scherlen, who ended up passing away from complications from his injury while serving as an officer.

“We couldn’t believe that we were able to stand up there and tell our stories…it was very emotional but yet it was so very well-received. When we were all up there, one thing we did discuss is that they were all paying attention and that they were in disbelief of what these officers had gone through,” Duncan said.

As this bill awaits a signature from Governor Abbott. Mary says they are optimistic for the future of this legislation taking effect.

“We just hope that this helps the next first responder that gets injured in the line of duty,” Duncan said.

Duncan says they are awaiting the date of a bill signing ceremony for HB 2082.

Copyright 2017 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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Legislative run down, #stopunderpayments, Rep. Burrows

State of Reform

Rep. Dustin Burrows has distinguished himself as a legislator willing to push forward on health policy in spite of the politics in Washington DC clouding the path forward for Texas.  We chatted with him at length in February about his transparency legislation, HB 307. While that bill has stalled, transparency of pricing will likely continue to be an issue.

In this episode of “What They’re Watching,” Rep. Burrows lays out the case that an efficient insurance market requires a relatively clear understanding of what procedures cost from the medical system – and how sharing the incentives and savings with consumers will help drive price competition.

Read more here:

Talking Points with Bryan Mudd (5/14/17)

LUBBOCK, TX (KAMC NEWS) – Are you a fan of South Plains politics? Here are your Talking Points for this week.

In the old days, if you wanted to hold a peaceful protest you might have a “sit-in” or even a “love-in.” These days, if you’re a Democrat in a heavily conservative area, you’ve got to try a little shock value. We’ll take you to a “die-in.”

A late start to work in the Texas House means a last minute flurry to try and bring bills to the floor for a vote. This often leads to fear and loathing, along with tears and anguish over what made it and what didn’t make it to a vote.

Also this week, we recap and look ahead at the local, state and national political headlines.

Talking Points with Bryan Mudd airs each Sunday morning at 11:30 a.m. and Sunday evenings at 11:05 p.m.

You can also watch the broadcast below:

Letter regarding House Bill 4011

Re: HB 4011

To Whom it May Concern:

I appreciate your organization expressing concern over HB4011.

First, false information is purposefully being put out about HB4011 and I want to set the record straight. The Bill does not preclude a physician from balance billing, billing or suing a patient over an unpaid debt. Further, it does not prevent a judgment obtained by a provider from being reported to a credit reporting agency. The bill simply provides that if a provider wants to report an overdue account to a credit reporting agency, they must first have disclose the price; or, obtain a judgment.

Nothing in my bill mandates price disclosure by anyone.

Second, I have heard concerns from others and have proposed amendments to address those (although I am told TMA will oppose any bill dealing with price transparency). The most notable amendment I have proposed is one limiting the disclosures to the top 25 “shoppable” medical events.

Third and finally, as you will recall I have had several meetings with your group about the idea of price transparency legislation. At the outset, I asked your groups to work with me (not against me) to find a reasonable solution. I distinctly remember being assured that this would happen. However, it has not, and appears that your group has decided to ignore me (and the people I proudly represent who are struggling to pay for healthcare and health insurance).

Perhaps, in the future, your organization will reconsider your position of ignoring my price transparency legislation and working against it. If you do reconsider, I will be more than happy to work with you to come up with good policy for all Texans.

For any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact my office at (512) 463-0542.


Dustin Burrows

House passes Burrows’ bill aimed at assisting wounded officers

By: Lucinda Holt
Lubbock Avalanche Journal

First responders injured in the line of duty would have access to a liaison to assist in workers’ compensation claims and disputes under House Bill 2082, which was approved by the Texas House Tuesday evening.

The bill authored by State Rep. Dustin Burrows, R-Lubbock, states an ombudsman will be created within the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation and will serve injured first responders by assisting them through the claim process and, if applicable, with any disputes that may arise.

“It is an honor to represent first responders in HD-83 and across Texas,” Burrows said in a statement after the vote. “Our injured and wounded first responders must have their worker’s compensation claims processed quickly and fairly.”

Mary Duncan, West Texas Crime Victim’s Coalition president, has worked alongside city and state leaders as a voice for injured first responders, eventually collaborating with Burrows.

On April 3, Duncan and area injured first responders testified before the state’s Business and Industry Committee and left on a positive note as Duncan said the testimonies were emotional and well-received.

After the bill passed the House, she sent a statement saying, “I am beyond excited for our first responders. We all have worked so hard to see that our first responders receive the medical attention they deserve. (I’m) feeling so blessed by all the support we received by so many from so many jurisdictions.”

She also said working with state legislators has been a memorable journey.

The bill was developed after Duncan began receiving reports of injured officers experiencing troubles with their medical claims, including that of her own husband.

Medically retired Lubbock police officer Jacob Flores has been a continuous voice, sharing his story of claim denials and numerous surgeries following an injury he suffered when chasing a suspect in a child abduction case. Saying he had to fight for information on his claims, he added that the ombudsman will help ease a major burden so that those injured can focus on recovery.

The bill reads, “An employer that employs first responders or supervises volunteer first responders shall notify the first responders of the first responder liaison in the manner prescribed by the office.” Under the bill, the ombudsman must meet specific qualifications including training and education requirements.

The bill passed alongside HB 1689, which aims to hold government agencies that provide or accept workers’ compensation accountable by imposing sanctions and administrative penalties.

“HB 1689 and 2082 were written with the help of police, fireman, their families, and their advocates to ensure our state agencies operate efficiently and cooperatively,” Burrows said. He also thanked the bills’ joint authors, which included State Rep. John Frullo, R-Lubbock.

HB 2082 passed the House with a vote of 133-7, while HB 1689 passed 147-0. Both will now be sent to the Senate for consideration.

Read more here:

Dustin Burrows Says Democrats Trying To Create Fear Over Anti-Sanctuary Cities Law [INTERVIEW]

Monday on The Chad Hasty Show, Representative Dustin Burrows joined the broadcast to talk about the deadline looming for getting bills out of the Texas House and many important items still being worked on.

Burrows and Hasty discussed protections for farmers, the new anti-sanctuary cities law signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, CPS reform, and firearms legislation.

Speaking about the supposed ‘fear’ being created by the law, in the Hispanic population in Texas, Burrows said,

The only people who are trying to basically be fear-mongers in this are the Democrats who are making that point, saying that this bill should make fear.

Listen to the entire interview with Representative Dustin Burrows in the video above.

The Chad Hasty Show airs weekday mornings live, from 8:30 AM to 11:00 AM on News/Talk 95.1 FM and 790 AM KFYO, online at, and on the free RadioPup app. Follow Chad on Twitter via @ChadHastyRadio & KFYO Radio at @KFYO!

Read More: Democrats Fear-mongering Over Anti-Sanctuary Cities Law |