Representative Crownover on her smoke-free workplace bill: "You should not make someone else smoke with you"

Back in 2005, Representative Myra Crownover authored and passed House Bill 790 to increase the number of genetic disorders newborns are screened for in Texas. Before the passage of HB790, Texas only screened newborns for eight genetic disorders and after the passage of it, the number of disorders screened for was expanded to the full panel of twenty-nine disorders, which was recommended by the American College of Medical Genetics. Since enactment of the legislation, more than 600 Texas newborns have been successfully diagnosed and treated for disorders that, undetected, could have caused significant health problems or even death.

She was awarded the Heart of Honor by the American Heart Association and was named in 2005 by the March of Dimes as "Advocate of the Year" and also by  the National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as "Legislative Champion" for her work to add funding for the screening of newborns with cystic fibrosis.

Representative Crownover is obviously very concerned with real health issues and passed a smoking ban bill in the Texas House of Representatives in 2007 (House Bill 9) and in 2011 (Amendment to House Bill 1811), but both times the measure failed in the Texas Senate.

This session, she is planning to file a similar bill and hopes to have the support of the members of the House of Representatives as well as the Senate.  See our interview below to learn more:


Full Transcript of Interview:

Adryana Boyne: Hello, we are here with TexasGOPVote and VOCES Action, and I'm honored to be here with Representative Myra Crownover, and Representative Crownover, you represent District 64 in Denton, and which other areas does it cover?

Myra Crownover: Denton, it goes up to Krum and down to Lake Dallas, Shady Shores.

Adryana Boyne: I know, Representative Crownover, that we have expectations for this upcoming session. We heard the Speaker and Governor this morning, but can you tell us a little more specifics about the bills that you plan to submit to the House this upcoming session?

Myra Crownover: Well a bill that I'm especially interested in is a smoke-free workplace bill. It does not tell anyone whether they should or should not smoke. It says that if you do choose to smoke, you should not make someone else smoke with you, and we think this is very important to the employees in the State of Texas because they shouldn't have to chose between their job and their health. We also know that this bill, if passed, would save $30 million in Medicaid expenses. We know that second hand smoke is deadly. It has carcinogens, it has formaldehyde, it has benzene, and the information is pouring in. It's especially important for pregnant women who need their jobs and who work forty hours a week so they don't have to put their unborn baby at risk for smokers who could very easily step outside, so we think it's a wonderful balance of liberty and protecting other peoples' liberty to breathe clean air.

Adryana Boyne: What is the number of the bill and the name of the bill?

Myra Crownover: We haven't filed it yet.

Adryana Boyne: Oh okay, well Representative Crownover, I know you're going to be very busy this session. I want to say thanks on behalf of the people of Texas for your service here. We know you do this on almost a voluntary basis. The salary is very small for all of you, and we appreciate all the time you take and all the service you do for the people of Texas. Thank you very much.

Myra Crownover: Thank you. My pleasure.

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